Statement and Poem for Precipice

 

 

Statement for Precipice

 

This body of work represents a journey.  An attempt to capture a period of my life that due to the financial collapse of 2008 brought my family to the edge of Vancouver’s urban growth boundary.  The imagery and story is best explained in my poem “Precipice”.  I would like to add that the journey, although filled with trials on many levels, was an overall positive experience.  Our new neighborhood was the type of place where kids safely played into the night and ice cream trucks visited like clockwork in the long summer days.  In retrospect it became a time for reflection on my family’s circumstances in a world ever changing by so many forces.  Our home in the suburbs was like an outpost on the edge of the world.  While many tumultuous world events have occurred all over our planet in the last 8 years, the riots and wars, floods and fires never came even close to our quiet outpost.  But they did.  The internet, radio, and T.V. brought all these things to the suburbs.  While we all went about our life, it was hard to figure out what was real.  The place we lived: where children played so carefree and coyotes sang into the early morning every spring seemed so at odds with the rest of the world.  

 

I almost called this collection Riot in the Suburbs, but the work never became that political.  Instead, it became personal and celebratory. Where the comforts of home were the lace on the table and the woods behind the subdivision.  Picking blackberries in the neighboring undeveloped lot and the owls I would visit in the forest kept me centered. And besides, we could always turn off the riots so they never came to our suburbs.  Certain anthems are playing behind all this work.  Specifically, Arcade Fire’s album The Suburbs which sing: “I need the darkness so please cut the lights.”  A plea for innocence, for dreaming.  But what I realized from my time in the ‘burbs, is that our innocence is tainted by the age old quest for gold.  And while there is plenty of sun for us all, our little planet will never be able to provide us with all the gold we need. But if we could find a way to turn the sunlight into gold perhaps we would not need to turn on each other so savagely.  So, I conclude, Precipice is my personal journey as I spent time at a quiet outpost. The undertones of global narratives give me perspective, but more immediate are the simple things in life, like a butterfly, a shell, or the warmth of the sun.  

 

Jason

 

www.jasonwadephelpsart.com

Facebook@jasonwadephelpsart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Poem for Precipice

 

I had fallen I feared

into a chasm

a tireless expanse

without reason

without gold

no cup to hold to the sky

for heaven to fill

 

But the wandering sun

was my alchemy

my faith to peer

into the night

 

Where I found

false fires blazed

illuminating every facade

I now called Home

 

How their light warded off

ancient fear

and anxiety we call

Forgetting

 

But remembering is why

like lace

like a butterfly

like a knife

so delicate

so intentional

I did not quit

I did not waver

to false idols

to voices with

no past

no instinct

no deliverance

 

 

 

Precipice.

There was comfort

in the warmth

the Jackal brought me

in the night

piercing drums with insanity

with instinct to deliver

a song

a hope

that tomorrow’s sun

could fill my cupped hands

with courage to

wander over the precipice

where towers held

many secrets only

told to spirits

of a feather

in the wind

to the earth

with a clue as they fell.

Softly

 

I collected those charms

I gathered many

in all their beautiful forms

in all their mystical algorithms

given to me from beyond the edge

so that I may summon

something real.

 

I would like to thank you

Bone, Feather, Shell, Soil

 

You gave me courage

to build my tower

to reach the orbit

of the light.

Golden