Awakening. Carver's Carved Cathedrals

"We live in all we seek."  Annie Dillard, For the Time Being

1  Cologne cathedral photograph 2 Andy Warhol Drawing,
 illustrations from the book David Hockney, Secret knowledge , Thames and Hudson, 2006
 3  Andy  Warhol, Cologne Cathedral, Screenprint, 1985 
4   Senlis cathedral at night from my window,  photography  J'attends...
 5 Senlis Saint Frambourg church seen from my window, photography J'attends...      

The blind man got down from the sofa and sat next to me on the carpet. He ran his fingers over the paper. He went up and down the sides of the paper. The edges, even the edges. He fingered the corners. 
“All right,” he said. “All right, let’s do her.”
He found my hand, the hand with the pen. He closed his hand over my hand.
“Go ahead, bub, draw,” he said. “Draw. You’ll see. I’ll follow along with you. It’ll be okay. Just begin now like I’m telling you. You’ll see. Draw,” the blind man said.
So I began. First I drew a box that looked like a hose. It could have been the house I lived in. Then I put a roof on it. At either end of the roof, I drew spires. Crazy.
“Swell,” he said. “Terrific. You’re doing fine,” he said. “Never thought anything like this could happen in your lifetime, did you, bub? Well, it’s a strange life, we all know that. Go on now. Keep it up.” 
I put in windows with arches. I drew flying buttresses. I hung great doors. I couldn’t stop. The TV station went off the air. I put down the pen and closed and opened my fingers. The blind man felt around over the paper. He moved the tips of the fingers over the paper, all over what I had drawn, and he nodded.
“Doing fine,” the blind man said. 
I took up the pen again, and he found my hand. I kept at it. I’m no artist. But I kept drawing just the same. My wife opened up her eyes and gazed at us. She sat up on the sofa, her robe hanging open. She said, “What are you doing? Tell me, I want to know.” I didn’t answer her. 
The blind man said, “We’re drawing a cathedral. Me and him are working on it. Press hard,” he said to me. “That’s right. That’s good,” he said. “Sure. You got it, bub. I can tell. You didn’t think you could. But you can, can’t you? You’re cooking with gas now. You know what I’m saying? We’re going to really have us something here in a minute. How’s the old arm?” he said. “Put some people in there now. What’s a cathedral without people?”
My wife said, “What’s going on? Robert, what are you doing? What’s going on?” “It’s all right,” he said to her. “Close your eyes now,” the blind man said to me. I did it. I closed them just like he said.
 “Are they closed?” he said. “Don’t fudge.” “They’re closed,” I said. “Keep them that way,” he said. He said, “Don’t stop now. Draw.” 
So we kept on with it. His fingers rode my fingers as my hand went over the paper. It was like nothing else in my life up to now. Then he said, “I think that’s it. I think you got it,” he said. “Take a look.
What do you think?” 
But I had my eyes closed. I thought I’d keep them that way for a little longer. I thought it was something I ought to do. “Well?” he said. “Are you looking?”
My eyes were still closed. I was in my house. I knew that. But I didn’t feel like I was inside anything.
“It’s really something,” I said.

“It's possible, in a poem or short story, to write about commonplace things and objects using commonplace but precise language, and to endow those things  —a chair, a window curtain, a fork, a stone, a woman's earring —with immense, even startling power.” 
Raymond Carver

Le temps est venu de passer de Senlis à Cologne et de m'installer là pour l'hiver. Comme les hirondelles je réinstallerai  mon nid senlisien à la belle saison. Je replanterai mon jardin, je reverrai la statue sans tête qui a l'air de flotter dans l'air au-dessus des toits, la flèche dentelée de la cathédrale et les toits de Saint Frambourg et de Saint Pierre. J'emporte avec moi l'odeur du feu de cheminée et je te salue Colonia.  Je me réjouis de revoir ta cathédrale qui ravit mon coeur comme le dessin d'un enfant. Et qu'il me soit donné de voir!  


Les dessins de la cathédrale de Cologne sont tirés du livre de David Hockney, Secret Knowledge Rediscovering the lost techniques of the  Old Masters, Thames & Hudson, 2006.

"In the book Hockney also points out that Andy Warhol, known for tracing, never could have drawn the Cologne Cathedral without tracing from a slide projection.
The drawing would not have looked like this if he had stood in front of the Cathedral and drawn it from straight life. His skill was to know which lines were the most important."
via arcspace

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