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Monday, January 25, 2010

gold

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Even in poverty ~ with passion and perseverance ~
a lot can be accomplished.


Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948


January 26 is Republic Day in India
~ A day the whole world celebrates
the power of non-violent civil disobedience.

~ ~ ~

Permit me to synchronize that with
a poor artist's rich sunflowers
on a postcard my daughter sent from Amsterdam some time ago.
You don't need a lot of money to create something beautiful.
In fact you might be very poor financially.
You might not ever make a living at what you do best.


Vincent van Gogh

Sunflowers, repetition of the 4th version (yellow background)
Oil on canvas, 95 × 73 cm
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

~ ~ ~

And a winter field clipped of its corn
looking "like a man's badly shaved beard"*
might be where power waits under a white winter sky
that will come to life under the heat of the summer sun.
Just a plow, soil, seed, sun, rain ~
and a new field of corn will rise up ~
Just like that.



With the right combination of elements
an impossible alchemy is possible.

Golden.

Don't forget it.
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* simile borrowed from Guy de Maupassant's Miss Harriett
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57 comments:

Claudia said...

Inspiring! I needed that. Thanks!

Sandy said...

Nice post! I enjoyed it Ruth.

Loring Wirbel said...

I'll echo Claudia. Friday was my day for feeling sure that small miracles overcome big violence. Today, I didn't feel that way. This post brought me back to the golden land.

ellen abbott said...

So true. Thank you Ruth.

shicat said...

Quiet and steady this post is very moving.

The photo of the corn and reference to a mans badly shaven beard is wonderful.

We can all make a difference even though at times we may not feel that way.

Does rich with family, culture and tradition trump monetary gain and greed? I think so.

Peace my friend

~My dearest friend is near the end of her journey.My heart is broken. I guess friendship and love trumps everything,with a little humor tossed in for good measure.

Mary Ellen said...

Hi, Ruth - this is just lovely, and full of the power of returning light. I needed a good dose of that in this dragging-on winter!

J.G. said...

Thank you so much for this. The timing is perfect.

Don't we all feel like we need to make the impossible possible some days?

Patricia said...

I watched the Frank Capra movie, "You Can't Take It With You" this past weekend. It really explores in a madcap way the balance of lifestyles.

Thank you for your glorious images and reminder of the work of Ghandi. Linking him with Van Gogh was fascinating.

shoreacres said...

The fewer words you use, the more I have to say ;-)

Don't forget the power and the perseverance of the farmer behind that plow. Without the alchemist, the elements lie inert.

And this: I'd never heard of Carolyn Arends or her music until I found her in Arti's blog. I have chills from watching this just after reading your entry:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lmqtYR5tJo

I don't believe I'll forget any of it.

rauf said...

Big things start small, Rosa Parks was a meek little woman, very beautiful too.

Thank you for honouring Gandhi Ruth, But Gandhi would have been sad with the way our democracy is working. His dream is still unfulfilled. His statues are erected in every city town and villages but his message is forgotten.

Sidney said...

A great inspiration...we can all do something to make this world a better place !

Ann said...

cycle of life, seem so sad for the field to be clipped of it's harvest.

Mum used to grow a few corn stalks , one for each of us.

Annie said...

So true.

Leena said...

Hugs from Melli to you, Ruth, and greetings from me to your cleverly associated writings!
Beautiful day to you!

João said...

From Ghandi and India, to Van Gogh and his sunflowers, to a chilly corn field in America, via France's Guy Maupassant...just remembered what I seem to find missing here : the wheels to weave the linen that Ghandi so much liked...it would expose the circularity of things.

Could it be true the rumour that Ghandi always tried to sleep with young virgin girls ? And even if that's true it would somehow fit here too, because here we are missing Spring and we all love Spring.

Peter said...

Some wonderfully synchronised messages. Rauf's comment makes me however think of a small difference between Gandhi and van Gogh; The Gandhi message seems to have difficulties to survive him, whereas van Gogh's work has started to live only after his death.
... and however much you admire van Gogh's work, maybe it would be even more important to see Gandhi's message to live for ever.

Bella Rum said...

Beautiful and powerful words.

I believe I love winter so much because of its hidden beauty and power - the fallow field waiting to spring to life - a perfect example.

Inspiring thoughts this morning, Ruth.
Bella

Babs-beetle said...

Oh, so very true!

Susan said...

Ahhhh, synchronicity at it's finest, dear Ruthie. You know how to bring out the gold in simple things. Love this.

Oliag said...

I love your photograph Ruth...and that corn field will yield up some beautiful golden kernels next summer won't it...

Lovely, inspiring post...the end of January needs this:)

Jeanie said...

Stunning composition for your photo, Ruth. So bleak, though! I think the sunflowers are a tad less bleak!

Have you seen Jane Rosemont's photo exhibit at Mumbai on Albert St.?

California Girl said...

great synchronicity today Ruth! love the beard/corn stalk simile. your photo underscores it beautifully.

CottageGirl said...

Great thread today, Ruth ...
The last few days I've been viewing the PBS special, India. What a fascinating country of which I know so little.
Ghandi was certainly not only a national treasure, but a treasure for the whole world as well ... just as van Gogh's sunflowers and the wintered cornfields ... all full of promise and hope.
We need that hope now.
Thanks for the virtual treasures of gold.

dutchbaby said...

I gasped when I saw the last image of the "stubble" field. So graphic, so beautiful.

Thank you for reminding us how powerful non-violent civil disobedience can be.

Van Gogh - what an inspiration he is!

Ruth said...

Thanks, Claudia, I'm glad.

Ruth said...

Hi Sandy, I just kept having these golden things linked in my vision.

Ruth said...

Loring, I'm glad. I can usually count on the fact that however I feel today might not be the same tomorrow. And, we need each other.

Ruth said...

Ellen, I read the other day that it's easy to associate being rich with being smart. I think that's one reason the Wall St guys keep getting away with so much. We think - if they're rich, they must be smart.

Ruth said...

Oh, Cathy, I'm sorry. I hold you in my heart, as you hold her in yours. Quiet and steady.

Love, and a long hug.

Ruth said...

Mary Ellen, I was eating a mango, and I was inspired by gold. One thing led to another.

Ruth said...

Thank you, J.G., I'm glad. It might just be doing what you have to do, naturally, with passion. To someone else, it seems impossible. Jump in the river, and flow.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Patricia.

And thanks for mentioning "You Can't Take It With You" - which I haven't seen except clips, and reading the summary on IMDB, I think I'd like to. It reminds me of "Holiday" with Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, one of my alltime favorites from the same year, 1938 (in fact I need to add that to my profile). Do you suppose Cukor and Capra were trying to tell victims of the Depression that money isn't everything?

Ruth said...

Yes! Linda, without a laborer-catalyst, the elements stay dormant. The faithfulness of a person who works hard is sadly underestimated and underappreciated around here.

Thank you for the Carolyn Arends video, which showed the negative power of poverty and despair, but the human spirit can become inspired in spite of it - or maybe even because of it.

Ruth said...

rauf, thank you for bringing up Rosa Parks. Yes, she was sick as a child too. Luckily she lived and sat down at a time when Martin Luther King, Jr. and others were pushing open some doors.

Even when Gandhi was doing his hard work, some of his followers wanted to do it differently. I think some of them didn't totally agree and appreciate his insistence on nonviolence. And without his personal inspiration and passion, his leadership, how many have, or had, the same heart - enough to push with courage against suppression of the lower castes? I don't know exactly what you meant, and I don't know much, and I've never been to India. I'm just observing from far away.

Ruth said...

Sidney, you shine the light on beautiful faces in the Philippines. Thank you for that inspiration.

Ruth said...

Ann, oh, I don't feel that way! I love it when the corn gets harvested. Then I love to watch it grow in the summer, starting from such little spring green sprouts in the black dirt.

Cute what your mum did. One, maybe two ears if you were lucky.

Ruth said...

Annie, hi. We're all so different, and our individual drives and dreams are necessary.

Ruth said...

Hugs, dear Leena and Melli.

Ruth said...

That's right, João. This is what wiki says about the spun linen:

Gandhi dressed to be accepted by the poorest person in India, advocating the use of homespun cloth (khadi). He and his followers adopted the practice of weaving their own clothes from thread they themselves spun, and encouraged others to do so. While Indian workers were often idle due to unemployment, they had often bought their clothing from industrial manufacturers owned by British interests. It was Gandhi's view that if Indians made their own clothes, it would deal an economic blow to the British establishment in India. Consequently, the spinning wheel was later incorporated into the flag of the Indian National Congress. He subsequently wore a dhoti for the rest of his life to express the simplicity of his life.

As for the other, about sleeping with virgin girls, I saw a little about it, and it isn't clear, but if he did that it might have been to increase yogic powers through brahmacharya. But I know nothing except what swirls around online.

Ginnie said...

January 26 is Dennis' birthday, Ruth. I wonder if he knows it's Republic Day in India? I think he would like that. He is, after all, an Aquarius, one who is in tune with the Brother/Sisterhood of all humanity!

This is a very beautiful post...with the "right combination of elements!"

Ruth said...

Such good observations, Peter. I agree.

While they became connected in my mind, the thought occurred to me that van Gogh's colors might have been an inspiration to Gandhi - we have no way of knowing. And we can never know what will trigger the right action in a person - a role model who changes the world with action, a piece of art, a symphony or a simple folk song, or a natural vista or phenomenon.

Kamana said...

gandhi is such an inspirational figure. one of the people from history that i would love to meet.

photowannabe said...

A post full of hope and beauty. Thanks for the thoughts and fascinating picture of the corn field.

Ruth said...

Bella, I need the dormancy, I really do. I like the break from growth when the mystery is hidden.

Ruth said...

Hi, Babs, thanks.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Susie.

Ruth said...

Oliag, that corn field is one of my favorites on my drive to work. The farms in this part of the state are lush and impressive. Even here at our farm the soil is well draining and our gardens have been prolific.

Ruth said...

No, Jeanie, I haven't seen it. Is it at the Saper, I wonder?

Ruth said...

Thank you, California Girl. Things look pretty stark around here lately.

Ruth said...

CottageGirl, I'm so glad you're watching that India show - is it the British series? I've been wanting to watch it for a long time, and it's on our queue.

I was just reading about the Montgomery, Alabama civil rights movement, and several participants were strong advocates of Gandhi's nonviolent civil disobedience methods. That was less than a decade later!

Ruth said...

Dutchbaby, I'm reading about the Montgomery Bus Boycott and have been very impressed by the influence Gandhi had on it. I'm sure he hoped his movement would be that kind of inspiration to oppressed people around the world.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Boots. I miss Dennis, Amy and Nicholas. I miss you!

Ruth said...

Hi Kamana, it's quite wonderful that we have a lot of text and a beautiful film about his life, so we can be touched pretty deeply by his example.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Sue, I am very fortunate to drive by farms every day, every season.

ds said...

Oh, van Gogh!Oh, Gandhi (thank you for that reminder)! Oh, those cornfields. Desolate, yet not; broken, yet not: leaching their nitrogen back into the soil to strengthen next year's crop. Alchemy, indeed.

Ruth said...

DS, it's an incredible world. Nature. The people who have lived, who live, who create new worlds with their lives.

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