an asian lily, pink, copper, breasts, circles.
sulfur smell, cadmium yellow, a horse and dark brown earth.
Catch the images that flash to the surface in the net of your mind. They are slippery and try to escape. This takes practice, this is the discipline. Notice when one shouts at you. Paint that one.
Then there are the dreams and ecstasies, the gifts:
Throwing off waves of energy that feel like bristles of hair or porcupine quills, back arching and bowing in waves. These sparks change into snakes and birds and circles of light. The words flash in your mind “bodies of ash, bodies of gold” transforming your skin into gold leaf, a figure beneath you charcoal, shadowy. Then just space. Space and stars.
Capture the images and carry them to the studio quickly, anyway you can. Keep talking to them until a single image blooms into a story, an entire mythology. Stay with them, sit in solitude and polish them until one shines the brightest. Paint that one.
And also, the very old ways:
You stand in the circle in the suns heat without water and dance for days. Your body becomes pinpoints and flashes of light, not solid. You travel with the wind and it whispers pictures. If you are lucky you smuggle an image past the guards of reason, back to your colors and brushes.
phosphorus, moon, meniscus
arrow, iris, mound of venus
If you can fight back the logic of clocks and become a servant to nameless things, if you can fashion a mystery to a color and shape that suits it. If you can stop making sense to yourself, even past the point of fear. If you can speak with the lines on your palm.