Oh Happy Day

Yeats reads Keading
HILJA KEADING, Oh Happy Day 1996,  still from video.

HILJA KEADING, Oh Happy Day 1996, still from video.

As W.B. Yeats put it, it’s a story of Mask, Innocence, Folly, Creative Mind, Simplicity, Abstraction, and Body of Fate. Phase Three of Part III in A Vision, 1928. The woman becomes an image “where simplicity and intensity are united.” This is not TV, it’s a punch on our face, a ringing bell into our dormant state of mind. It’s exactly what Yeats was told by invisible voices, but “he” in his text is replaced with “she.”

 

 

 HILJA KEADING, Oh Happy Day 1996, Single Channel Video, 3′ 49″

“She gives herself up to a kind of clodhopper folly, that keeps her intellect moving among conventional ideas with a sort of make-believe. Incapable of consecutive thought and of moral purpose, she lives miserably seeking to hold together some consistent plan of life, patching rugs upon rugs because that is expected of her, or out of egotism. On the other hand … if she is content to permit her senses and her subconscious nature to dominate her intellect, she takes delight in all that passes; but because she claims nothing on her own, chooses nothing. … Almost without intellect, it is a phase of perfect bodily sanity, for, though the body is still in contact in supersensual rhythm, it is no longer absorbed in that rhythm; eyes and ears are open [clean, I would say in this piece]; one instinct balances another; every season brings its delight.”

Oh Happy Day.