short wet dreams of a day of rain

by ROSANNA ALBERTINI

Watercolors by EDGAR HONETSCHLAGER 2021

Distillate of Metaphor by MICHAEL C. MCMILLEN, 1996  A blend of thirteen selected images, triple steam distilled and aged by chiaro di luna. Bottled on 1.Feb.1996   Gillock Laboratory and Research Institute* 13313

Photographs by PETER KIRBY

Quotes from Wallace Stevens and John Cage and indirectly from Paul Valéry

E-mail conversation with SIMONE FORTI

Winter in Los Angeles is short if it ever comes. The sky cries out all the the clouds he can spread like blankets closer and closer to the tree tops but it’s easier to smell the rain’s proximity than to see how far the gray pillows hover on our heads. December days are short. 

It rains. Sitting on a chair surrounded by darkness I reach the big hole within. I don’t have metaphors to describe what I will never see, and if I could I wouldn’t have the words. The distillate of metaphor that cousin Michael collected in a bottle for me in 1996 keeps silent. It cries for the moon. The liquid density sealed with wax, like envelops or parcels from a past world —a metaphor escaped, it is not this or that. Which is the common secret between the tangible bottle and my intangible inner hole.  

The day was dripping lack of light like an hourglass passing sand through the bottleneck. The day slipped into the night. “By metaphor you paint a thing,” says Wallace. Language becomes a freeway of meanings running away and stopping very briefly on pebbles and papers and poles and palms and on the spots of dirt the violence of rain spatters over the glass. We don’t really see the single moments —a camera does it much better that the natural eye— we feel them in the dark hole until they come out god knows how, words? images? watercolors? 

Here they are, Edgar Honetschläger’s watercolors. In some ways Austrian, in other ways Japanese, as the artists holds both spirits in his experience. Even though that is not that important. It’s our liquid nature so masterfully disguised by the skin that craves for merging into the fluid landscape diluted and melted by some ungraspable force out of human control.

From John Cage Silence:

‘When desire is silenced       and the will comes to rest,     the word is beautiful      

   and removed from the struggle for existence.

This is the world of Art.“  (I Ching)

“What are the important questions:    what is it that is not       just beautiful

but also ugly,      not just good, but also evil,       not just true, but also an illusion.”

Edgar’s spirited images awaken all the wet winters soaking my life like a castle of sponges. But first of all they bring back a mysterious sense of excitement, being immersed in an indistinct, fuzzy world deprived of clear definition. A physical experience of merging and getting lost, without disappearing. 

In the morning, beyond the glass door to the deck, a little squirrel appears. Peter talked to him and took a picture. I sent it by e-mail to Simone:

Simone answered, “After a cold night. A lively image.”

Rosanna     “Do you need a blanket?”

Simone      “I don’t need a blanket but I thought maybe the squirrel did.”