‘untie the spell’ (1)

In the end, Prospero gives up the magic that he has usurped from a sprite, abandons his need for revenge, and chooses forgiveness. Thunder.

‘o dear father’ (2)

Untie the spell of death, so that I am no longer hunted by the hounds of grief, mercy, mercy. Untie the spell of beauty, so that I am no longer bewildered. Untie the spell of the story so that I no longer need an ending. Solemn music.

‘I’ll drown my book’ (3)

I think about how a drawing can be like a song, a spell that captures our emotions. How certain songs may allow us to suspend time and revel in a temporary emotional state, even find new emotional states. How some Hank Williams’ songs tell a sad story with a buoyant jubilance, and how in this contrast an elusive third element can emerge, which is sometimes melancholy. My son said to me the other day, “all the music you listen to is sad and about helplessness and sorrow… I do like that one about ‘me and julio down by the schoolyard”.

‘And you won’t read that book again
Because the ending’s just too hard to take’ (4)

One of my favorite lyrics, from the Gordon Lightfoot song "If You Could Read My Mind". I might not read the book again, but I will listen to a sad song over and over. The qualities of a drawing; the intonation of the pencil, the character of the tone, the quickness, or slowness, the pace of a line all give voice to the drawing. On a ship at sea: a tempestuous noise.

‘In a cowslip’s bell I lie.’ (5)

Spellbound for a moment, transported by a sprawling vista, taken by the brilliant colors of a sunset, wells of emotional wellbeing are filling, detachment is within grasp. The world is not undone by detachment rather becoming. I have moments on occasion where I am looking at something seemingly random, and entire narratives unfold, sometimes an avalanche of personal memories and other times a catharsis occurs, unexpectedly. In the vulnerable moments shared in art we experience humanity; we move accompanied by the feeling that we are not alone.


1.  (Tempest 5.1.165)

2.  (Tempest 1.2.48)

3.  (Tempest 5.2.148)

4. Gordon Lightfoot, Lyrics to “If You Could Read My Mind”, Reprise, 1970.

5.  (Tempest 5.1.152)


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