Another Sea in the Sky is an experimental short film based on the director’s poetry and music. This poem originated in his childhood experience, when he was half awake in his dream experiencing that there is no boundary between the universe and the self, he saw himself transparent like a jellyfish. He tried to elaborate this theme with visuals and music both recorded by himself. The isolated covid lockdown brought back his vivid memory of the experience and allowed him to recall and express it through this multi-media format.
” […] Mahakali is of another nature.Not of wideness but of height, not wisdom but force and strength are her peculiar power. There is in her a overwhelming intensity, a mighty passion of force to achieve, a divine violence rushing to shatter every limit and obstacle.All her divinity leaps out in a splendour of tempestuous action; she is therefore swiftness, for the immediately effective process, the rapid and direct stroke, the frontal assault that carries everything, before it.Terrible is her face to the Asura, dangerous and ruthless her mood against the haters of the Divine; for she is the Warrior of the Worlds who never shrinks from the battle. Intolerant of imperfection, she deals roughly with all in man that is unwilling and she is severe to all that is obstinately ignorant and obscure; her wrath is immediate and dire against treachery and falsehood and malignity, ill-will is smitten at once by her scourage.Indifference, negligence and sloth in the divine work she cannot bear and she smites awake at once with sharp pain, if need be, the untimely slumberer and the loiterer. The impulses that are swift and straight and frank, the movements that are unreserved and absolute, the aspiration that mounts in flame are the motion of Mahakali.Her spirit is tameless, her vision and will are high and far-reaching like the flight of an eagle, her feet are rapid on the upward way and her hands are outstretched to strike and to succour.For she too is the Mother and her love is as intense as her wrath and she has a deep and passionate kindness. When she is allowed to intervene in her strength , then in one moment are broken like things without consistence the obstacles that immobilise or the enemies that assail the seeker.If her anger is dreadful to the hostile and the vehemence of her pressure painful to the weak and timid, she is loved and worshipped by the great, the strong and the noble; for they feel that her blows beat what is rebellious in their material into strength and perfect truth, hammer straight what is wry and perverse and expel what is impure or defective.But for her what is done in a day might have taken centuries; without her Ananda might be wide and grave or soft and sweet and beautiful but would lose the flaming joy of its most absolute intensities. To knowledge she gives a conquering might, brings to beauty and harmony a high and mounting movement and imparts to the slow and difficult labour after perfection an impetus that multiplies the power and shortens the long way.Nothing can satisfy her that falls short of the supreme ecstasies, the highest heights, the noblest aims, the largest vistas. Therefore with her is the victorious force of the Divine and it is by grace of her fire and passion and speed if he great achievement can be done now than hereafter.”From “The Mother” by Sri Aurobindo
The paintings were inspired by the life of the legendary 20th century Canadian pianist Glenn Gould . I see Karma yoga in his dedication to music and Bhakti yoga in his devotion to the masterpieces by J.S. Bach especially in his exceptional piece Goldberg Variations. My attempt in these paintings is to capture the moment of the spark of Gould’s soul both in movement and pensive moment.
” […] Wisdom and Force are not the only manifestations of the supreme Mother; there is a subtler mystery of her nature and without it Wisdom and Force would be incompetable things and without it perfection would not be perfect.
Above them is the miracle of eternal beauty, an unseizable secret of divine harmonies, the compelling magic of an irresistible universal charm and attraction that draws and holds things and forces and beings together and obliges them to meet and unite that a hidden Ananda may play from behind the veil and make of them its rhythms and its figures. This is the power of Mahalakshmi and there is no aspect of the Divine Shakti more attractive to the heart of the embodied beings.
Maheshwari can appear too calm and great and distant for the littleness of earthly nature to approach or contain her, Mahakali too swift and formidable for its weakness to bear; but all turn with joy and longing to Mahalakshmi.
For she throws the spell of the intoxicating sweetness of the Divine: to be close to her is a profound happiness and to feel her within the heart is to make the existence a rapture and a marvel; grace and charm and tenderness flow from her like the light from the sun and wherever she fixes her wonderful gaze or lets fall of the loveliness of her smile, the soul is seized and made captive and plunged into the depths of an unfathomable bliss.
Magnetic is the touch of her hands and their occult and delicate influence refines the mind and life and body and where she presses her feet course miraculous streams of an entrancing Ananda. And yet it is not easy to meet the demand of this enchanting Power or to keep her presence.
Harmony and beauty of the mind and soul, harmony and beauty of the thoughts and feelings, harmony and beauty in every outward act and movement, harmony and beauty of the life and surroundings, this is the demand of Mahalakshmi.
Where there is affinity to the rhythms of the secret world-bliss and response to the call of the All-Beautiful and concord and unity and the glad flow of many lives turned towards the Divine, in that atmosphere she consents to abide. But all that is ugly and mean and base, all that is poor and sordid and squalid, all that is brutal and coarse repels her advent.
Where love and beauty are not or are reluctant to be born, she does not come; where they are mixed and disfigured with baser things, she turns soon to depart or cares little to pour her riches.
If she finds herself in men’s hearts surrounded with selfishness and hatred and jealousy and malignance and envy and strife, if treachery and greed and ingratitude are mixed in the sacred chalice, if grossness of passion and unrefined desire degrade devotion, in such hearts the gracious and beautiful Goddess will not linger. A divine disgust seizes upon her and she withdraws, for she is not one who insists or strives; or, veiling her face, she waits for this bitter and poisonous devil’s stuff to be rejected and disappear before she will found anew her happy influence.
Ascetic bareness and harshness are nor to her not the suppression of the heart’s deeper emotions and the rigid repression of the soul’s and the life’s parts of beauty. For it is through love and beauty that she lays on men the yoke of the Divine.
Life is turned in her supreme creations into a rich work of celestial art and all existence into a poem of sacred delight; the world’s riches are brought together and concerted for a supreme order and even the simplest and commonest things are made wonderful by her intuition of unity and the breath of her spirit.
Admitted to the heart she lifts wisdom to pinnacles of wonder and reveals to it the mystic secrets of the ecstasy that surpassed all knowledge, meets devotion with the passionate attraction of the Divine, teaches to strength and force the rhythm that keeps the might of their acts harmonious and in measure and casts on perfection the charm that makes it endure for ever.”
Our journey of praising the beauty of nature and discovery of its meticulous work has no end. In this time of global pandemic we are forced to shift our way of living into a sustainable one. Our culture needs to be re-aligned to giving back instead of taking and consuming. There is no waste in nature’s marvelous production. There is only an eternal cycle of life in which any design process has to seek a source of inspiration and be anchored as a heart of common sense. -JNE