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GC Myers-The Burning Secret a sm

The Burning Secret



Nothing whets the intelligence more than a passionate suspicion, nothing develops all the faculties of an immature mind more than a trail running away into the dark.

― Stefan Zweig, The Burning Secret



The new painting above is part of my June solo show, Between Here and There, at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria. Its title, The Burning Secret, is borrowed from a Stefan Zweig short story. The Austrian Zweig (1881-1942) was a giant of literature in the 1920s and 30’s, his books among the biggest best-sellers and most translated of the time. But he has not come forward in history with the same impact as some of his contemporaries such as Hermann Hesse and Thomas Mann, though there was new interest in his work after director Wes Anderson made Zweig’s The Grand Budapest Hotel into a wonderful film.

I am not going to get into Zweig here but the short excerpt form the story at the top seemed to fit so well with what I was seeing in this new painting. The forest of Red Trees has a feeling of danger and menace yet also beckons. I know that, as one possessed of an immature mind despite my quickly advancing age, that the danger possessed in mystery is an attractive thing for this unnurtured sort of mind.

You know you stay out of that place but there is something in there that needs to be found, some mystery to be exposed.

The fractured sky above appears to shed light and clues and the house seems to almost stare into the dark of the forest. Though it is apparently night the light on the fields is surreally mysterious and shadowy.

Yet, even with its evident potential for peril, there is something in this that tells me that the core of this mystery, the secret waiting to be uncovered, is not to be feared. The fear only comes in not knowing which allows the immature mind to run wild.

The more mature part of the mind feels that behind the mystery there may be answers. Perhaps even answers to the larger questions that have plagued one’s mind.

It makes me want to follow that path, that trail running away into the dark.

Who knows what lies beyond?



The Burning Secret is 13″ by 19″ on paper and is matted and framed in an 18″ by 24″ frame. It is included in my solo show, Between Here and There, which opens June 4, 2021 at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria, VA.

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I wish that I knew what I know now

When I was younger.

I wish that I knew what I know now

When I was stronger.

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You have probably heard the line above, uttered in the chorus of Faces‘ 1973 song Ooh La La by an aging grandfather to his young grandson, many times over the years as it’s been used in many movies and television shows and ads. It’s very atmospheric as Wes Anderson demonstrated to great effect in the final scene of his film Rushmore.

And if you have somehow missed it, you have definitely heard someone older spout those very same words.

The words make sense. I guess you would almost always want to relive the past with greater knowledge than you had at the time. It would definitely help avoid the stumbles and setbacks you experienced along the way. To have that wisdom beforehand might be a wonderful thing.

But maybe it’s the acquiring of this wisdom that matters, the experience of trying and failing multiple times. Maybe you need to experience that blind and unfounded optimism that sets you off on misguided missions doomed to fall short. Maybe you need to learn how to claw your way up from the fall to the bottom.

Maybe wisdom has to be hard earned before it can be fully appreciated.

Or maybe not. Maybe I am making excuses to rationalize away my own past stupidities and shortcomings. Maybe all those mistakes and missteps could have been avoided altogether with the wisdom I have now.

But would that wisdom have led me to this point where I am today?

I don’t think that can be known.

And today I am relatively content with my lot in life so I can happily abide with the choices, even the mistakes, I have made. What lttle wisdom I have gained over the years tells me I would be no happier on the safer, stabler path I might have chosen with foreknowledge.

Ooh la la…

So for this Sunday morning’s music interlude, here’s the song from Faces featuring Ronnie Wood on vocals. Give a listen and have yourself a great day with no regrets. Ooh la la…

 

 

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I was going to write about the amount of idiocy we have to bear every day. There are so many examples from which to choose. I could write about the fact that there is a humanitarian crisis taking place among our citizens on hurricane ravaged Puerto Rico but it took a silent and respectful protest in the form of kneeling NFL players that triggered a strong response in the form of all sorts of kneejerk, moronic responses from the American public at large.

Or I could write about the fact that the majority of these same fools who are so insulted by a silent protest against racial injustice don’t even know that Puerto Rico is a U. S. Territory and that its people are U.S. citizens who are in a dire situation.

There have been stupid times throughout history, that is a certainty. But to be so enmeshed in a time filled with day after day of idiocy, disinterest, distraction, disinformation, misinformation and pure unadulterated self interest is a little hard to take.

So, when I saw the new trailer for the upcoming Wes Anderson film, Isle of Dogs, I let out a great sigh of relief.  I loved his other stop-motion film, Fantastic Mr. Fox, based on the Roald Dahl book of the same name. This film seems to have many of the same characteristics as that film– quirky humor, whimsy, pathos, clever dialogue, great stop-motion animation and a lot of joy. It might not seem like joy but it’s there.

So, I have something that will hold my hopes until March of next year when the film comes out. Until then I can bear a little more idiocy. I hope you can as well. Maybe while you’re waiting, you can take a minute and check out how you can donate or somehow assist the efforts to help our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico.

Do something positive for someone else.

Here’s that trailer:

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I wrote yesterday, in a sanguine manner, of not making resolutions for myself.  But this morning, still under the weather, I have decided to contradict myself.  I will maker a resolution, dammit.  Why not?  So for this year I resolve to read all of the Roald Dahl books that I missed as a kid.  I don’t know how I didn’t come across them in my rabid reading days as a child.  I would have loved them, I’m sure, with their dark humor and their sense of ethereal justice.  I mean who didn’t feel a little better when Veruca Salt got hers at Willy Wonka’s factory?

I decided on this resolution after recently viewing the film version of The Fantastic Mr. Fox, a stop-motion animation from director Wes Anderson who made one of my favorite films, Rushmore, as well as a handful of  other quirky, funny, bittersweet films.  His debut film, Bottle Rocket, is a little known charmer.

I don’t ususally like to suggest films for anyone because, like any artform, it is  highly subjective.  I like what I like and you like what you like based on a whole series of personal preferences and opinions and often that which triggers my emotions may seem silly or shallow to you.  But I highly recommend The Fantastic Mr. Fox.  It is smart and funny and just a lovely film.

So, there.  Anyway, I am off to search for more of Mr. Dahl’s work.

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