Saturday, May 15, 2010

pictures of perfection

There I was digging deep inside the old photograph suitcase when I found a quick snapshot taken of the first mandala I painted about 5 years ago. It was a hurried photograph because the painting had taken longer than I expected to complete and had to be mailed the next day. Finished, it was about 14 inches square and larger still once it was packed inside a folio and wrapped to look like a giant birthday card - which is what it was. I wish I could remember the verse written around the outer edge as I'm sure it was something profound and lovely. Nevertheless, I'm glad I found the picture since it came and went so fast I'd almost forgotten what it looked like.

What I was looking for was a wedding picture of numb and I. The Canadian government wants photographs of us together over the course of time with wedding pictures being particular favorites. Isn't it sweet that they're so sentimental? The problem is that unlike most people we never did have any - well, just one taken outside the Providence City Courthouse. In other circumstances it might have been nice to have a 'real' wedding but at that point I was spending time traveling back and forth to Toronto arranging finally to become a Canadian citizen after having lived there most of my life. Meanwhile the US government would only send out my permanent resident documents once we were officially married. We only had 90 days so it simply wasn't possible to plan or pay for a celebratory event.

I haven't found the wedding picture but did find a letter of congratulation typed by the Mayor of Providence, Buddy Cianci. He went on to disgrace his office numerous times but the most outrageous one was the news story about the night he went to the home of his wife's lover and after ordering his police escort hold the guy down, Buddy beat him with a burning log from the fireplace. The man recovered but the mayor's marriage didn't survive the event. I bet he and his wife had great wedding pictures though. Maybe I'll do a web search and photoshop our faces into them. I bet the Canadian government would shed a tear or two on seeing those.
✄ ☺☺


linda said...

what an absolutely gorgeous painting and very 'you' the color combo and as for buddy well, thats pretty disgusting....sigh....kind of goes with your previous post in a convoluted must be in a mood to get the hell outta dodge... ♥

Pagan Sphinx said...

Ah, who cares! The rotten mayor's letter alone will probably do the trick for the Canadian government to let you in!

Entertaining post, Susan! Beautiful mandala - that blue with the ochre - what a lovely combination.

Seraphine said...

omg, using a burning log to beat on another person is awesome!
nothing shocks me anymore.
but sarcasm aside, i love your mandala. it's beautiful.
if i were a government official, i'd def take that as a bribe.

susan said...

linda - I was delighted when I found the little photograph since I only had vague memories of how the painting looked.

Providence was a very wild and unruly place after Canada and my time spent in Europe. Once Buddy and the Mafia were gone gang violence exploded which has only begun to subside these past few years. It's funny to think the mob kept the place fairly quiet.

I'm guessing Canada won't be quite like I remember it but I don't enjoy flying in this country anymore and it will be nice being closer to our son who's still in Providence.

pagan sphinx - It was a surprise to see Hizzoner's letterhead and notice he'd typed it himself. I'm definitely sending it along with the other stuff :-)

Since it was the first one that particular mandala was the most inspired. I'm glad you were able to see a hint of how it looked.

sera - He used to cruise Providence late at night in a limousine with a police motorcycle escort. Strange man and strange times. Providence was the only city to have gangsters on the payroll who carried official documents to say their job description was sidewalk inspector.

I don't think these officials will take bribes but I can't be sure of anything anymore either. It may be worth a try.

Spadoman said...

Great story. Am I to assume that the Candian government wants wedding pictures in order to prove residency? I take it this is part of the process for your upcoming move to Nova Scotia. Good luck and the best with all that for sure!
Those Italians, creative in their beating styles, no? (hangs head in disgrace for his fellow Italians)
That mandalas is great. I've come to expect nothing less from your archives.

Peace to you.

La Belette Rouge said...

OMG! I think that the Canadian government has seen "Green Card" once too many times.

The painting is brilliant, deep, complex and soul stirring. I feel like I say this over and over to you--but it is ALWAYS true. Jung would have loved your work, I feel sure of it.

susan said...

spadoman - The Canadian Gov't seems to want irrefutable proof that we really have been married for 33 years. It's a bit ridiculous but, yes, it's all part of my being able to sponsor him.

You're right about the creativity of angry Italians :-)

belette - The Canadian gov't takes itself a little too seriously - like most of them.

I'm pretty sure Jung would find evidence of some deeply held psychoses but what a very nice compliment.

Lisa said...

I love that Mandala! The colors are wonderful.

I think you should definitely send the photo of the former mayor and his ex-wife. See if anyone is paying attention and all that.

Liberality said...

Some of the most expensive marriage ceremonies are the first to crack up. Too much pressure I suppose. Why does the Canadian government want wedding photos (if that isn't too personal a question to ask)?

Seraphine said...

i want a job as a pothole inspector.
number one, i will never be out of a job.
number two, i accept bribes.
i know a pothole from an ass in the ground.
there's one BIG one (pothole) on my way to work every morning. the funny thing is i never think about it until it's too late. i hit it *every* time.
i'll gladly inspect potholes. just don't ask me to fix them.

Nancy said...

He beat him with a burning log? Really?

The painting is lovely. I just love mandalas.

Randal Graves said...

The Canadian government wants it only to keep tabs on its future citizens! RFD implants are next! Don't trust the moose!

Gary said...

Yes, those romantic Canuck bureaucrats are really something..

I have a photo of you two from the early 80's. Need it?

Gary said...

Oh... that mandala is terrific

susan said...

lisa - I still like the Wedgewood palette of this one.

I'd do that but for the fact they don't seem to have a sense of humor :-)

liberality - It's true and likely that the higher the expectation the more likely the fall.

sera - Yep, a great job indeed and those guys in Providence never fixed a sidewalk either :-)

nancy - He really did.

randal - They seem to be taking the old homeland security thing far too seriously.

gary - They work on the premise everybody is running a scam. It's damn weird.

Have I seen it? Can you scan it? We have enough to get by with but pictures of either of us are rare and pictures of us together are like finding a hen with teeth :-)

okjimm said...

I had a wedding photo..... once. Of course, I was married ..... once. Once was enough. If any one really really wantz ta know was I married... Ha! they can call the EX.... she'll tell 'em!

but the art is nice.

Steve Emery said...

I've been to look at this four times now, but have not had words... Too tired, every time. And now isn't much different, actually. But I wanted you to know how much I enjoy this image. I like the sweep of the larger foliage patterns, and the constraint on the colors, and the warmth of the knots compared to the cool blue ground, and the way East seems to meet West (Celtic knots?) in the design. Beautiful work.

gfid said...

love the mandala.... i have a children's book cooking somewhere in my right lobe, using mandalas to tell a story my grandmother told me.... beurocracy (or however you spell that) is a weird thing.... seems to only complicate the lives of the honest, and enable the deviations of the dishonest.....

Seraphine said...

there i said it, gfid.
oop, that still doesn't look right, dies it?

susan said...


- a word with a meaning as uncomfortable as its spelling.

susan said...

okjimm - You just reminded me of Mae West who said: Marriage is a great institution, but I'm not ready for an institution yet :-)

steve - I was delighted to find the photograph I'd taken in a rush before sending the original away. The whole thing just appeared to me all at once and, yes, they are Celtic knots meant to symbolize understanding.

gfid - It sounds like a fascinating idea of a way to present a story.

sera - :-)

gfid said...

Mae also said, "it's not the men in my life that concern me. it's the life in my men."

i bet you didn't even have to look up the spelling. ;0) showoff