Category Archives: Noblet

Who Are You, Monsieur Diable?

title

The Devil’s in the details.

 Give the Devil his due.

A deliberate mistake in the weaving, so as not to tempt the Devil.

Speak of the devil–and he appears.

The devil you know is better than the one you don’t.

You handsome devil, you!

The Devil is not without a lot of cultural baggage, and not a nicely-matched luggage set either. Continue reading

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A Piteousness of Hanged Men

hanged men

If you are looking to read Tarot cards by actually seeing them, rather than by an overlay of imposed or associative meanings, you could find no finer card to practice on than the Hanged Man, Le Pendu. Continue reading

On Not Being Able to Draw

Walt Whitman 20 minute portrait

Sketch (by me) of Walt Whitman as a young man

You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor
     look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the
     spectres in books,
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things
     from me,
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self.

–Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

Those who know of Joanna Field’s fascinating book “On Not Being Able to Paint” will recognize the hat-tip in this post’s title. Her book includes poignantly honest descriptions of the act of seeing. Not thinking about seeing, or seeing what she’d been told was there, or looking “through the eyes of the dead.” Not anything but what happened when, for instance, one object seemed to meet another as she looked out her own two eyes. Seeing for oneself.

I’ve been on an elusive quest to, as they say, find my voice as an artist.  The great jazz musician Miles Davis once said, You have to play for a long time to play like yourself. I believe that is true, though I have not “played” long enough yet as an artist or even as just a person. The elusive nature of the quest is compounded by the whole “self” idea. What is myself? The more closely I look, the more slippery the whole concept becomes, Continue reading

Tarot Haiku: Four Questions

I’d been communicating a lot via haiku the last few months, so much so that my students avowed I’d begun to think in haiku. They’d point out the tell-tale twitch of my digits as I automatically parsed the syllables of my thoughts. Uncanny five-seven-five sequences would emerge quite spontaneously in a discussion of, say, vectors or parametric equations. It wasn’t quite like living inside a musical, where people arbitrarily break into song  at the odd interval, but still.

Meantime, I’ve been obsessed not just with reading cards, but reading them with grace and verve.  Continue reading