Fortieth Day

Francesca Woodman Untitled Rome 1977-78.  Perhaps it should be titled, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?”

 

Fortieth Day
100 Words

Thaw, the fifth and final season, follows in muffled white steps behind Winter. It wakes like a charging bull with a caustic rage, unleashing pent-up black thoughts, sullied emotions, and questions of sanity: leaving you fully exposed to blind spots told in epitaph. It’s the cruelest season with the chilling betrayal of your own frostbitten hands beating you down, down to nothing, down to less than nothing. When you realize you’ve had enough you find yourself channeling the iconic genius, Francesca Woodman hanging from the door casing before a final leap of faith into the unknown: leaving a void forevermore.

 

“The joy that isn’t shared dies young.”
― Anne Sexton


Video — “
ARTIST ROOM – Francesca Woodman * *

 

Copyright © 2018 Mia Pharaoh. All rights reserved.

 

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61 thoughts on “Fortieth Day

  1. Mia, I think you’ve kept her memory and legend alive by giving your perfect words to people who may have never heard of her before. Like the bloke in the vid says, ‘Her work seems to owe nothing to anybody else’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. JGC, thank you. Seems she really didn’t owe anything to anyone else. I think her visions were well ahead of her time, fortunately for us those visions were captured and preserved. She certainly was a tremendous talent. Please have a brilliant Tuesday.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. PM, having again gone through more of her work on Google images it stay stuck in my head – in a good inspiring, creative melody to slideshow sort of way. Not a day to be a feral cat it’s so cold. Have a great day. JGC

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Always so original your articles, I really like Francesca Woodman original like you, the quote is beautiful.

    Wishing you well lovely friend.
    Much love to you ❤

    Soul, xo xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I’m very fond of Francesca Woodman’s photography, her work is original, unique, and even unsettling at times, yet brilliant. Please have a wonderful Tuesday, avoid the snow if possible and stay warm! Sending much love to you. ~ Mia xo 💕

      Liked by 1 person

          1. All the kitties recovered from a bout with a virus, but Najar is having a hard time kicking. We lost Rosencrantz today. Old age (18 years old). His body started shutting down Sunday and we’ve been holding him and letting him know he’s special for the past couple of days. He was the last of our Y2K kitties.

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          2. We miss them all. After all the troubles he had with his kidneys from a really bad infection he got from getting in a fight with a dog 4 years ago, it’s amazing he lived a year and a half longer than his brother Guildenstern, and a year longer than our first Y2K kitty, Diné.

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  3. I’ve never heard of her, so I went on a google expedition. When I had viewed her photographs, I thought that she was much older. Not because of the subject matter, but because of her grasp of her art. Her work compels one to stare at what she had created.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh so good to see you, Mia. Your cosmology of Thaw being the fifth and final season, before cycling back into, what, life? Spring? It is a fascinating way you order life and death, and also that Lent, the liturgical season of penitence and deep reflection should forever fall in Thaw, before the end, the agony, the rebirth, the resurrection. And your alternative title of the photograph is perfect. Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Amaya, thank you. I think adding a fifth season was my way of looking at the inevitable, and the amends that we make with ourselves, which is probably not easy. I’m pleased that you like the alternative title of the photo, it seemed perfect to me too. I don’t know that “Fortieth Day” had meaning for everyone, it just suited the photo so well. Please take care as well, and enjoy your week.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Rarely does this old fool discover words with such emotional clout as yours. Albeit that I was compelled to research the subject behind the words to find out more, I am glad to have done so. Her art, mature beyond her years. So incredibly sad. Bravo, the author.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Mike, you’re far too kind. She was ‘mature beyond her years’. I think Francesca’s photos inspire a great deal of emotions, making them easy to use a prompt. I always hope that when I’m inspired by any photo that the words do the image justice, I suppose we can never know for sure what the exact intent of the artist is or was, it’s fun to try though. I hope you’re having a lovely day and staying warm.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Bereft of words and unable to risk frozen temperatures today, I studied Francesca’s work in some depth. I think I have to travel back decades, pre-WW2 even, possibly not then, to find a photographer construct a confessional portfolio as Joni would compose songs. Thank you for penning this important…certainly to the likes of me…post, young Mia.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. No, don’t risk frozen temperatures, ever. Have you looked at the photography of Ilse (ilse) Bing? Her work might fit your criteria, I think Joni would approve. She’s another favorite of mine, from the avant-garde and surrealist scene in Paris. Here’s a very quick Google search link.

          https://www.google.com/search?q=Ilse+Bing&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwimkri45MbZAhUMy2MKHSFmCvgQ_AUICigB&biw=1920&bih=949

          I hope you enjoy her photos as much as I do, and thank you again, Mike.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. If there is one clear-cut means of attracting my attention it is the three words, ‘Avant-garde, surrealist and Paris’. Rest assured I will be ensconced the minute my chores are done with. I must thank you again for the Francesca Woodman introduction. Her work is remarkable. I am besotted and must know more. Later today I will have finally decided which of the books about her has the closest to a chronology of her photographs. I believe in her case knowledge of the chronology is vital if I am to get a handle on the artist. Amazon have a number books for sale, all seem worthy. Yet again, my thanks, young Mia.

            Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for the (re?)introduction to Francesca Woodman. I think I had not really “heard” of her. Or maybe. Barely. The magic of Internet now gives instant access to her fascinating world and talent. A shame. Had it been there then… Who knows. Young death is always so devastating for the years never to come.
    Have a lovely thaw week. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brain, thank you. Young death is devastating and tragic, thankfully Francesca left a large body of work for us to enjoy. You too, have a lovely thaw week too, it’s been in the high 50’s here during the day which is pretty cold for this area. I hope it’s warmer where you are. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is much warmer. 🙂 We had a rather cold January in Mexico city, lower thirties in the morning. Brrr. But we are back to normal. Yes Francesca has left us a lot. But as in all… suicides, I just wish she had known how much she is missed. 🙂
        Have a lovely week Mia.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Thaw, it should be hopeful, but it is a grim time of year here in the northern hemisphere. The renewal of spring indeed feels like resurrection after time spent in the Grave. I love the words you chose to express it. As for Francesca Woodman: This is the photograph that introduced me to her work a year or so ago. She had such an incredible vision. I was intrigued enough to watch the documentary on her life, as well. Such brilliance, snuffed out too soon. Wonderful post, Mia. 🙏

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    1. Thank you, Meg. I’m not much of a winter person, so I’m definitely looking forward to spring. When more is learned about Francesca and her family a lot of things make sense. Truly a tragedy, it makes me wonder if the outcome could have been different for her if other things were different too (very competitive family, plus I don’t think the art world was entirely ready for her). Hope you’re having a terrific Tuesday. 💗

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, the family dynamic was definitely strange. And then her father trying to recreate her style after her death – I suppose it could be seen as a tribute but I found it to be a bit creepy. I wonder how her work would have evolved had she lived on. To gain maturity and find some ground beneath her feet. So terribly sad. On that note…. hope you have a good day as well! 💜

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Mia, so glad to see you again.☺️I’ve had to start a new blog but have imported (importing much of the content). Hope to see you there at some point. This is a chilling post but a great reminder to share and experience joy…before it is too late. ✨

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Your post is enlightening and force me (in a gentle way) to find out more, thank you 🙂 five seasons? hmm… maybe I only have one then and the other four reserve for those far from the ecuador line? Have a wonderful next day Mia, always nice to see your posts again ♥

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for introducing a lost brilliant girl.i am so much sad dt only 20/21 years was in her luck of life.beautifull pic by prepared by her.seeing her pics- i think that she was rebllious type nature.most welcome,dear mia💖for kind reply.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. So you are back with a vengeance talking about something that is very dear. Astounding photograph by Francesca (well you know my thoughts on it, thoughts that you greatly expounded with your knowledge of the artist) so really nothing to be said apart from brilliant!

    Liked by 1 person

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