W. H. Auden
About suffering they were never wrong,
The old Masters: how well they understood
Its human position: how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer's horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.
In Breughel's Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water, and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
Had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.
Sometimes things happen in life that knock you out of the sky. Your going round and round in your daily rat race, perhaps happily, perhaps not, and then boom. Something happens and life will never be the same. I made this print several months ago before my sister passed away. I looked at it last week and I could not remember anything about what I was thinking when I made it. What is it about? I know it's based on a vintage toy of an amusement park ride called High Flyers. I know I tend to go round and round, in the school bus I drive and in my head. Then I remembered the poem above by W. H. Auden. My daughter read it at my sister's funeral. It sums up the strangeness of re-entering life which went on around you while you were immersed in tragedy. And it mentions Icarus; a "high flyer" who fell from the sky. There are so many ways to put this together. Perhaps I am more aware now that everyone goes round and round and we do fall from the sky...and life goes on.