Mi Madre & My Headstone

No dyes or tints of any kind were added to the stone. The image was brought to life (so to speak) using 3 different lacquers and 4 different varnishes, applied slowly over several days. The colors are as they appear in the soft shadow of an early afternoon in Cuernavaca on 28 January 2008.

Mother Watches Over

There are two mothers, or two classes of them: the Dark and Sterile Mothers, the Bright and Fertile Mothers. But what is surprising is their habitation within a surface. For surface suppresses depth and then recalls it, on the surface; the existence of the picture plain convening the displacement of unpictured existence itself, that it might offer itself to be the object of some knowledge.

Here the surface divides in its own dimension; and we must iterate the logic whereby the dimension of surface compensates the abuse of depth, the old interiority of speech and spirit rewritten straight through the brutality of its exposure. For what was depth if not our mothers, the mother before our mothers, the matrix from which all apparent being wrenches itself, inverts itself, compounds itself, allowing the Bright and Fertile mothering function to perform her operations under conditions of dark sterility indeed-the errancy of the wrenched Shekinah and her ubiquitous Queendom has rejoined the darkest understandings, through her vertical transposition along the ancient diagram (?)

How many acts of layerings, coverings yet contrived to elicit and reveal, must we anticipate finally to receive the consolations of Her countenance? For surely there was a Face before we knew ourselves to broach the origin of all faces. The Mother’s Face-whose separation and absence was the very root of the anguish her own sweet form assuaged-appearance itself the wound of every healing-the sound that broke the silence that its own desert music restored to being.

Oh how much silence can this music mean?
Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 23.03.08

Fifth Yartzheit :: Mother of the Mormodes

The quality of affection may reside in the qualities of tone, vocal timbre, gray scale continua, and the harmonics thereof. Solarizations and subtle chromatic tincturings. The tilt of a head-like entity, egg-like, like the woman, in her chambers of sadness, among the Sad Machines, for instance, whose eternal gesture is but a quiet tilting, to her left, ever-so-smally, and down, to a final resolution. It does not happen in time. It happens in tone. It is a supreme heuristic and monstrance. It absorbs dukha, all tragic emotion, compresses these into its workable figure. It would not work in a symmetrical construction, for instance. That a certain sadness is not to be resolved for it IS the resolution of all that fails to open its attention, taking into account, requires resolution.

The clouds are in motion, within the solarization, that is to say, within a certain treatment effecting inversion, without actually operating upon spatial or any group-theoretic structures. The activity simply takes on an inverted sense. The same clouds move in another locus, without an inverse at all, in fact without overt motion.

All tonal qualities are diverted by a principle of edges. That is to say, there are edges, each with its application of attitude, its recognition of another register for light. The duty is to render light as the quality of an affection. It must never be “light”; only then is it light. The sexual body itself and its commerce with light.
Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 08.06.06

2/17 :: The Day Monk Left & My Mother Arrived

Criss-Cross / Thelonious Monk, Charlie Rouse, Frankie Dunlop,  John Ore (NYC, 1963)

(The beautiful young woman criss/crossing with Monk is my mother, who arrived the same year, 1917. The photograph used in the superimposition was taken by my father around 1935, and after hand-tinted with oils. The color values in the “trans-temporal” birthday card are pretty much as they are in the original, and always were to my remembering. Oil is an enduring medium.


A Vision of the Holy Ghost

Time Stands Still for my Mother

Contained within the circuloid, movement organized by it. The outside in. The outside is not phenomenal. It cannot be gleaned, reduced to, portended, or made the accurate object of one’s highest and most sublime arousal. And yet, this “cannot” itself cannot. There she is. The lines transgressing circumambulations of regressive alacrities. One does not complain that it goes too fast. It does indeed. Velocity at the limit of velocity is velocity no more. But a little man with a little hat. Even a straw hat. And a bow tie, or is it a collar with spats? And little black eyes. Or perhaps not. Perhaps no little black eyes. And a nice suit. It is the register, at all events, in which the most uncanny takes on the appearance of the unexceptionable: the intersection of the Singular with the Individual. Not even the type. For it is the Individual more than any other thing that masks the Singular. He walks about with surveillance technology diced into his every orifice. For the singular traverses infinite jointures that in principle such technology cannot glean. Its invisibility is perfect. Even to speak of it as to speak of a secret, as to send out dark emanations to protect where the secret dwells, does not speak of it at all. Hints and teases: hints are but teases.
And ever there is meat

where the Moon Shines.

It is positable that the eternal is the happenstance as we are. That the projection of the dead from their traces among the ones that “yet” live relative to that one, are projected for once and forever onto the unconscienable outside. Sentimentality aside, one’s concern is to remain staunch vis a vis all weirdness. With right view, there is nothing to shudder or flinch about. If there is something further that rhythm demands be said here, it is certainly not I but you that must commit to the saying of it.

Charles Stein,
Bar Harbor, Maine,
1 October 2007


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