All memorable events, I should say, transpire in the morning time and in a morning atmosphere. The Vedas say, ‘All intelligences awake with the morning.’ Poetry and art, and the fairest and most memorable actions of men, date from such an hour. All poets and heroes, like Memnon, are the children of Aurora, and emit their music at sunrise. To him whose elastic and vigorous thought keeps pace with the sun, the day is a perpetual awakening. It matters not what the clocks say or the attitudes and labors of men. Morning is when I am awake and there is a dawn in me. Moral reform is an effort to throw off sleep. Why is it that men give so poor an account of their day if they have not been slumbering? They are not such poor calculators. If they had not been overcome with drowsiness they would have performed something. They millions are awake enough for physical labor; but only one in a million is awake enough for effective intellectual exertion, only one in a hundred millions to a poetic or divine life. To be awake is to be alive…
We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn, which does not forsake us in our soundest sleep. I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor. It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do. To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts. Every man is tasked to make his life, even in its details, worthy of the contemplation of his most elevated and critical hour.
This drawing was done over a time period of perhaps ten days– as a result, the season had moved along its trajectory towards fall from the beginning to the end of the drawing period.
I decided to begin with drawing part of the Sitka rose hedge close up, and was sitting on the grass doing so, when a dragonfly flew by really close and landed on the mailbox. It was a sure sign he wanted to be in the drawing. He dutifully remained on the mailbox and allowed me to take several pictures, which I used to help me render him accurately in the drawing.
I had not been certain about the background, but I finally settled on the hedge itself so that the circle is kind of like a magnifying glass. The Steiner verse conveys my inner feeling about this time of year. I do feel that summer is being pulled to the inside of myself.
The energy is definitely pulling itself from the skies into the earth, and this is conveyed in the drawing. I didn’t plan it this way, but it the drawing process reveals this. I wanted to use words in this final drawing, and the words from Steiner’s The Calendar of the Soul for the Twenty Third Week (the week I began the drawing) were perfect:
There dims in damp autumnal air
The senses’ luring magic;
The light’s revealing radiance
Is dulled by hazy veils of mist.
In distances around me I can see
The autumn’s winter sleep;
The summer’s life has yielded
Itself into my keeping.
At the bottom of the picture, little “beings” came forth. They seemed to be saying that they were now going underground, so “goodbye” until next summer!
Dawn, 22nd September 2012, the chamber within Cairn T on Slíabh na Callaighe, Loughcrew, Co. Meath, Ireland.Today is the Autumnal Equinox – the half way point between the solstices and the time of year when the position of the sun at sunset and sunrise changes as its most rapid pace. This morning, well before dawn, a crowd gathered on the top of the central hill at the Loughcrew megalithic complex, a passage tomb cemetery built in late stone age. At dawn on the equinox the rays of the rising sun shine directly into the very back chamber of the largest passage tomb, illuminating some extraordinary megalithic art carved roughly 5,000 thousand years ago by Ireland’s first farming communities, people possessing only stone and organic tools. These passage tombs are among Ireland’s earliest surviving buildings.