let’s talk about his paintings: Mike Worrall


An artist inspired me. Alone in the winter sun, when the light is dying, and the cold is creeping in; his paintings bloom like forlorn magic. Magic tricks, the power of illusion, and the darkness which lives inside all of us; Mike Worrall paints and my words emerge on paper.

“When the fiddlers play, the music reaches your ears, like a sunken man you try to approach the bridge. To cross, or to live on, and it evades you. When I’m lost in a maze of bewilderment, and the clock forever strikes twelve, your fairytale might be over, yet I never lived in one. When an Angel grasps a glowing light, a stricken man might run for cover. An arrow points, a failed delight, your fear is marked, yet mine remains alight. A naked arm might flee the force of its shadow. Yet in my mind, the darkness climbs and flees the timely terror. Paths collide, our way was shut, and adversity arises. In his vanity, you run to take a look in the mirror. A portrait of death, squeamish, uncovered. The cry of fright, the road from where he walks, away. The depths from where, the angst still shelters, the waves tumble over each other. Never awaken an angry sea, for where then will your refuge take cover?”

His mystery leaves me wondering… His symbolism, dark yet subtle, elusive yet bold. His pictures are a contrast of evasion, life, death and poetry. We make choices, we succumb to beauty, we lose ourselves in unstructured mazes. Choices await us and vanity attracts us. I might be afraid, and so many already are; what is waiting for us, who is taking from us, and where will it all end?

Mike Worrall’s personal website
Mike Worrall at Escape into Life

The Two Portraits of Johannes

Scarlett Johansson and Colin Firth in 'Girl With a Pearl Earring' (2003)

‘Girl With a Pearl Earring’ (Tracy Chevalier) – the book:

Vermeer is more of a thought than an actual person. He is like a very important reminder scribbled on the margins, never on the page itself, but teasing the reader’s consciousness throughout. His presence is skillfully brought to attention from the very start, by attributing to him a few but indelible qualities such as the steady sound of his voice and his minimal but resolute gestures. His two most prominent movements, for example, are grabbing a wrist to save a painting from being torn, and stating simply that the children have not been brought up well, to save a girl her job. He is a stranger in his own house, a cloud or moth or waft of something that seems to have drifted in, unable to form a relationship to anything or anyone else.

‘Girl With a Pearl Earring’ (Peter Webber) – the film:

Vermeer is less of a stranger and more of a prisoner in his own house. He is depicted more as shackled creativity than detached creativity. The air of barely controlled frenzy about him deviates from his calm bordering on impassivity in the book. In the book, one almost feels like probing the painter to take action at many points; in the film, the re-invented and somewhat Byronic persona assigned to him curbs that urge. It is, however, to be wondered at what works best; the poignancy is sharp, very sharp, in the book, when Griet discovers, a decade later, that the same painter whom she had given up as a glittering shard from a dream, nothing more, had managed to procure her portrait to look at her again. In the film, Vermeer is shown to be very blatantly snagged by her in comparison, and so the revelation to Griet at the end leaves a different impression.

thoughts on conformity & tradition

Ours is a complicated world. We’ve been taught not to act on instinct. We’ve been taught control and to adhere to the strict lines drawn for the benefit of conformity toward acceptable societal behavior. Yes, we live in cliches, we are slaves of society. We are slaves of the rules set for us ancient centuries ago but these rules still continue today because we conform. Our conformity is the antecedent to our existential stagnation. We can’t change unless we gather enough courage to fight. But in our slavery there is no appeal to our conscience. Why is that? When conscience becomes a dead mole running inside tunnels dug out of it’s own claws, you know it’s lost. So who will pick up the first pen and who will pick up the first sword because we need to fight the war that we didn’t even suspect was going on within ourselves for generations. We are the lost generation because our behavior is locked in tradition yet our conscience struggles to find the last ray of sunlight and make its escape. We are the lost generation because we fail to gather together to make our stand; we fail to pick up our swords and pens because we fail to comprehend the danger to our self within self; we are destroyers of progress and we are destroyers of thought; we are swallowers of lies and we are messy devourers of humility; we are no one until we find the cause to be unspolit by race, untouched by religion, and to not be enslaved by tradition.

Song of the Wave

One of my favorite poems by one of my favorite poets Kahlil Gibran. This is his truth and I’ve fallen in love with it.

The strong shore is my beloved
And I am his sweetheart.
We are at last united by love, and
Then the moon draws me from him.
I go to him in haste and depart
Reluctantly, with many
Little farewells.

I steal swiftly from behind the
Blue horizon to cast the silver of
My foam upon the gold of his sand, and
We blend in melted brilliance.

I quench his thirst and submerge his
Heart; he softens my voice and subdues
My temper.
At dawn I recite the rules of love upon
His ears, and he embraces me longingly.

At eventide I sing to him the song of
Hope, and then print smooth hisses upon
His face; I am swift and fearful, but he
Is quiet, patient, and thoughtful. His
Broad bosom soothes my restlessness.

As the tide comes we caress each other,
When it withdraws, I drop to his feet in
Prayer.

Many times have I danced around mermaids
As they rose from the depths and rested
Upon my crest to watch the stars;
Many times have I heard lovers complain
Of their smallness, and I helped them to sigh.

Many times have I teased the great rocks
And fondled them with a smile, but never
Have I received laughter from them;
Many times have I lifted drowning souls
And carried them tenderly to my beloved
Shore. He gives them strength as he
Takes mine.

Many times have I stolen gems from the
Depths and presented them to my beloved
Shore. He takes them in silence, but still
I give fro he welcomes me ever.

In the heaviness of night, when all
Creatures seek the ghost of Slumber, I
Sit up, singing at one time and sighing
At another. I am awake always.

Alas! Sleeplessness has weakened me!
But I am a lover, and the truth of love
Is strong.
I may be weary, but I shall never die.