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St. Patrick’s Day 2015 - Cloths of Heaven

Every year at Christmas, I purchase a special treat for myself, a gift that celebrates sentiment and practicality. This past year, I decided that a piece of art would be appropriate because, for me, art must be practical as well as evocative of sentiment. Art in every day use is not only beautiful; it enriches the day with a sense of the sublime. Too often it is easy to forget or neglect the simple pleasure and the simple grandeur of a sunrise, a sunset, or the sun ablaze in its glory at mid-day. Art has always been the province of the affluent, expressing the passions of the poor. Sometimes irony can be so ironic!

The pleasures of life are uncomplicated and pure; yet they are too often neglected as we work and strive to obtain material wealth, oftentimes as the path toward security. The realization of a dream nowadays seems to cost much more (in various ways) than in previous times. And yet the dream asks only first to be felt and then envisioned. Next, the dream requests its chance – the opportunity to grow and develop and thrive. Finally, the dream demands to have its say. This process of fulfillment is sometimes lengthy, sometimes less time-consuming. The dream itself determines its due, that length of time demanded of the artist to honor his dream. One dream was transformed into a reality by an artist whose shop I discovered online. Her softly beautiful watercolour illustration featured in this essay enhances the words of the poem, “Cloths of Heaven,” by W.B. Yeats. This graphic artist penned the poetry in her calligraphy, thereby adding another dimension of art to the visual ensemble.

In her own words, this graphic art was inspired by a sunset at Waikiki that she experienced several years ago. That facet of the formation of this image sealed the deal for me. Below is the poem by Yeats. To the left is a photograph of the framed gift:

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths, Enwrought with golden and silver light, The blue and the dim and the dark cloths Of night and light and the half-light, I would spread the cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

I offer these wishes to all dreamers, artists, devotees of sentiment and practicality, and to anyone feeling Irish on this day (and any day): HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!


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