Monday, August 17, 2009

What the fates allow





fate 1: the principle or determining cause or will by which things in general are supposed to come to be as they are or events to happen as they do: destiny 2: whatever is destined or decreed 3: final outcome 4: the three goddesses of classical mythology who determine the course of human life - Webster's Collegiate Dictionary


This painting, "The Three Fates," by contemporary artist Katrin Wiese hangs in my living room. Wiese paints in narrative, often inventing characters and strange worlds. Here, she interpreted mythology. I bought it for its power and the whimsy of Clotho's hair made into a sail and her hands held in the energy flow of yoga mudras as she spins the thread of life. Note the bounty of a bowl of berries at Lachesis' elbow and her hand on the tiller. And the way Atropos, shrinks behind with her shears, prepared to cut the thread of some poor soul. But even so, flowers float on the water and there is a sense of beauty and purpose in the ebb-and-flow of life.

I plan to spotlight artworks on this blog from time-to-time, and at this moment I'm drawn to the Fates. I suddenly remembered a fairytale I started to write sometime ago about a girl who is destined to fall again and again from high places. The princess goes to find the Fates and ask why this is her lot, beginning with a power-hungry uncle who tossed her from the top of a tower. Unfortunately for him, she survived with just a scratch.

She finds the Fates on a mountaintop. They are surrounded by skeins of yarn in every color imaginable. Great tapestries billow in the wind, swirling with images.

"Why is my lot to fall?" The Princess sees no point in mincing words.

Clothos, her hair glittering with sunlight, barely glances from her spinning. "Into every life rain must fall."

"Without rain, no growth." Lachesis measures the lengths of yarn.

"Fine. It must rain, but I don't see why it must be a cyclone or a flood. And what's that got to do with me falling?"

"We came on the day of your birth and foresaw what your uncle would do. It may have been the early end of you, but you burned with such courage and resilience, it seemed to us you should bounce instead of break. And so it is." Atropos squinted out of rheumy eyes and pointed a gnarled finger at the Princess.

"I spend a lot of time falling." The Princess tapped her foot with impatience.

"Every gift has its price."

23 comments:

PJ Hoover said...

The Fates are so fascinating. I can see why they've been to subject of so much interest for such a long time. Nice painting!

storyqueen said...

OMG Tricia, did you ever finish your fairytale? You really, really, really should.

Really. The snippet shows such voice and promise!

Shelley

Really.

Tess said...

I love, love this! You must finish it. You MUST.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

PJ--Isn't that painting cool? I love it.

Shelley and Tess--Wow. Thank you both for such enthusiastic responses. Guess I best dust that puppy off and work on it again!

Stephanie Faris said...

Love that story! And the painting is very intriguing. I've never been able to look at a painting and get out of it what a true art appreciator gets out of one.

Davin Malasarn said...

Tricia, This is a fascinating blog post. Art and writing! Hooray! I enjoyed reading the excerpt from your fairytale. I agree with Shelley that you should finish it if you haven't already!

Laura Canon said...

I've been reading Italo Calvino's Italian Folktales and this sounds like something that could have come from that!
Not only is that an intriguing painting but I love your egret picture.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Stephanie--Thanks so much. I do love art; it's just a different way of filtering our experience.

Davin-- Wow, that's so wonderful of you to say. I really am going to have to revisit that abandoned story.

Laura--Double wow. Thanks for thinking so highly of that snippet; I always was enamored of the concept so I shall have to finish its development. Oh, I'm glad you liked the egret. I waited very patiently for a long time to capture it in flight.

beth said...

Wow! Love it! And the three Fates are a topic that fascinates me!!!

Andrea Cremer said...

So wonderful, Tricia. And I agree with the above, please write this story!!

MG Higgins said...

Very cool story and great painting. Yes, I love the hair turning into a sail!

Yat-Yee said...

I am going to second and third what the others said: please finish your fairy tale. I love how the princess and the fates seem to talk in parallels, and the answer that she should bounce.

I am glad you will be highlighting art. Look forward to more.

Donna said...

Interesting discussion of the Fates in two kinds of art. Please tell us the rest of your story. I love that smart-alecky princess.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Beth--I'm so glad you posted an artwork on your blog. I enjoy arts in so many forms, so this was fun to do.

Andrea--I must now, thanks. The princess is out of the drawer.

Melissa--One of these days I'm going to photograph a wooden plate Katrin painted of a little girl and assorted animals on a tiny boat. Her stuff is magical.

Yat-Yee--Thank you so much. I'm glad the painting and the story connected with you.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Donna--Thanks! Now the hard part of making the rest of the story live up to this.

Tabitha Bird said...

Wonderful picture! I'd love to hear the rest of that story.

Pat Murkland said...

Thank you for sharing and pairing the dream/myth fragment and the painting. So many things going on in both. Seems this may be a good spot to share a link. It offers a playful writing experiment you may want to try at home: http://significantobjects.com/about/

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Tabitha--Hi! *waves across the sea* Thanks so much.

Pat--Good to have you stop by, and I'm fascinated by the Significant Objects project. Thank you for sharing that link.

Rick Daley said...

Hi Tricia,

I've mainly been lurking here, but enough that I think you should get an award. Plus I got an award that stipulates I have to give awards to other people. Check my blog for details.

Shelli said...

this picture totally captures the work.

Angela said...

How ironic--one of my WIP is about the three fates!

I'm happy to pass on news that you should stop by my blog to check out the winners of my zombie Haiku contest....*wink wink*

Abby said...

Something for you over on my blog. :D

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Been gone a couple of days and, woo-hoo, more visitors!

Rick: You are the most welcome of lurkers. And I shall drop in soon.

Shelli: :D

Angela: Oh, what a nice way to connect--by Fates. Oh goody, I'm hopping on over...

Abby: Thanks, I'll check it out!