A Park at Twilight

A Park at Twilight – Acrylic on canvas – 28 x 32 inches.

Although the title of the painting refers to “a” park, this particular scene refers to a specific park that lies deeply in memories of my childhood. However, I wanted the painting to reflect a mood, a feeling, rather than a specific place or memory.

I’m told that some people are wary of night, even afraid of night. Perhaps this is true, but I remember that, even as a child, I opened my arms to darkness. I still do because night is a time for sleep and dreams. True, some dreams are nightmares, but we know that waking life is often filled with nightmares as well. So why be afraid of night?

Twilights are doors that open pathways into night. Years ago I created this painting to suggest such an opening. Now, years later, I’m still trying to create paintings that suggest a “great presence.” I have found no paths in darkness. Eyes are of little use. I have faith in open arms.

You, Darkness
by Rainer Maria Rilke

You, darkness, that I come from
I love you more than all the fires
that fence in the world,
for the fire makes a circle of light for everyone
and then no one outside learns of you.

But the darkness pulls in everything-
shapes and fires, animals and myself,
how easily it gathers them! –
powers and people-

and it is possible a great presence is moving near me.

I have faith in nights.

7 thoughts to “A Park at Twilight”

  1. Ahh, darkness that is not shirked. A poem with another view, upwards.

    The More Loving One
    BY W. H. AUDEN
    Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
    That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
    But on earth indifference is the least
    We have to dread from man or beast.

    How should we like it were stars to burn
    With a passion for us we could not return?
    If equally affection cannot be,
    Let the more loving one be me.

    Admirer as I think I am
    Of stars that do not give a damn,
    I cannot, now I see them, say
    I missed one terribly all day.

    Were all stars to disappear or die,
    I should learn to look at an empty sky
    And feel its total dark sublime
    Though this might take me a little time.

    September 1957

    1. Laura,
      Thank you for introducing me to a poem by Auden I had never read. It’s beautiful and insightful, food for the soul, as his works are so often.
      Thanks also for taking the time to read my post and comment on it. I appreciate your thoughts. May future posts inspire you to comment again.
      (Oh, I almost forgot: Had you read the Rilke poem before encountering it in my post? I assume the answer is, yes.)

  2. As usual for me in contemplating your work, I start with something formal, in this case the different types of light: the man-made lamps, the twilight of sunset, the rising moon and early star, the reflections. Then I am inevitably drawn to the interplay among these elements, in this case the dynamic between human attempts to illuminate the darkness and nature’s demonstration in contrast. We humans are successful in a limited way but have no chance to compete with the beauty of the filigree of light through the trees. And the children playing in the play of lights. How did I miss them at first? They lend perspective in so many ways: visual, sure, but metaphysical as well And how does one leave the ducks for last? The painting is certainly about light or perhaps lights, but it seems also to be about life, human and that surprising little something that the ducks bring, a little “je ne sais quack.”

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