Letter, August 23, 2015

I photograph you like a painter brings a landscape to a slow fervency in his mind, like a poet slowly accumulates a poem’s water in the well of his heart. I photograph you not into a still image, but into an ever shifting sea of shadows and light, each peeled wave revealing a greater depth, and so unto eternity. I photograph you, gazing at you, undressing you, slowly drinking you like wine, but each falling veil dresses you with a thousand beating wings of light, and each inebriating layer thrusts me higher into the clarity of your eyes. I photograph you, but how can an infinite being be contained in a painting, tune, or poem? I photograph you, but you cannot be contained, and so you overflow, through me, through creation entire, even from inside the rays of light. And so your beauty frees me as it enslaves me, teaching me the meaning of surrender, the ability to receive your light, but also daring me to penetrate you deeper, and deeper, until I become a mariner on the high seas of your tides.

Tanka # 50 – to Sarah

Painting by Sarah Mhanna, early 2013
Painting by Sarah Mhanna, early 2013

Your painterly eyes…
the world a canvas
born of your sight,
a fluid river
of shadows and light.

Sarah’s last painting and the only one she dedicated to me. It was left unfinished, as all the other paintings gestating in her. Her presence transformed the world around her, transmuted it into art — this by her presence itself which was radiating, and by her fondness to transform everything around her into art and colour.

You once told me to live and be happy every day. Ah, to be Sarah-Joy, Sarah-Laughter.