A folio of 22 paintings, with accompanying scriptural fragments, concerning some haunts of a romani master, in an ambulation that he made from the port to the mountains of cerebria. (Here is a clavis, or key, to the realm of cerebria.)
The works are oil on gesso on Fabriano Artistico watercolour paper, each 28 cm x 19 cm approx., created in 2021.
1We sailors, under instruction from the diviners, have sought a romani master. 2Though unseen by many, we hear tales, from those who have seen him, of his electrifying jouissance. 3With bells in his earrings and shimmering gold bangles, he is for them an unforgettable experience. 4Some speak of how, with dark and vibrant eyes, he looked deeply into them. 5They felt seen like never before, recognised to their core. 6Peripatetic, known to speak aphorisms, sometimes leaving signs in the places he inhabits, from time to time, in our realm. 7We speak of some of his haunts during one of his ambulations.
As quoted by this romani master:
“To be a philosopher is to take to the road, never settling down in some place of satisfaction with a theory of the world, not even a place of reformation, nor of some illusory transformation of the conditions of this world.” – Henry Corbin, The Theme of the Voyage and the Messenger.
“Understand and trace things to their infinite source and roam about in the sphere beyond the evidences of reality.” – Chuangtse’s commentary on Laotse’s Knowing the Eternal Law.
“Nor do I know that I know him not.” – Kena Upanishad.
1. walked the paved ways
1A romani master walked the paved ways of the port of cerebria. 2Volcanic cones smouldered.
2. marks of deliberations
1We sailors were exploring an abandoned place of worship at our port. 2We knew this romani master had passed by, for we saw he had painted marks of his deliberations on the walls.
1We encountered a simple abode in which this romani master had undertaken a long period of contemplation. 2We became mute for a considerable time.
1Across the bay rises the rambles of a castle, from an earlier period of our realm. 2Here the romani master was known, from time to time, to conduct experiments with the use of alembics and strong solutions. 3We surmised that the castle had become an athanor, like those the old sages employed.
5. icon to the red hills
1The romani master bid us build an icon to the red hills. 2It became a lookout. 3From this icon, we could espy the mysterious outpourings of these precious hills, and give gratitude for the mysteries of our realm.
6. respite from a harsh sun
1Legend has it that in a simple abode the romani master took respite from a harsh sun. 2In the tenebrous interior of this abode he was able to further his deliberations. 3His discoveries became part of the teachings of the diviners.
1In the lowlands south of agalia, we chanced upon a haunt marked with the sigil of the romani master. 2Inside, writings on the walls exhorted us to seek “only the eternally further-beyond”.
1The romani master spoke of an axis orthogonal to the four points of the compass. 2He had a compound built that demonstrated this axis. 3It was a place for its contemplation. 4The master had an outside wall marked with the sigils of the diviners and the sailors, indicating that the vertical axis was a fitting topic for their study.
1Near the shores of a pristine lake, the romani master discoursed to gathered sailors and diviners. 2When he had finished, one by one the sailors left, returning to the tasks of the day, aware that important words had been said. 3The diviners withdrew also, but lingered on a nearby hillock, in expectation of a sign from fecund nature. 4Presently, they observed a powerful emanation from the lake.
10. expounded on volcanoes
1On the way to agalia, the romani master contemplated in a tent like a cucurbit. 2One day, to a group of sailors, he expounded teachings on the volcanoes of cerebria. 3One such volcano he depicted on a placard. 4Sailors learned that, as much as they needed the volcanoes, the volcanoes needed them.
11. revered the voids
1The romani master revered the three visiting voids. 2He had a placard erected on a vast cerebrian plain, to remind passing sailors of the voids. 3The placard depicted the sigil of the voids.
12. approached a red-roofed abidance
1On his way to the upper lands of cerebria, the romani master chanced upon an abidance with a blood-red roof. 2In this abidance he deliberated for some time, on his plans to visit agalia and beyond.
13. made an icon of bloods
1The romani master, working in the red-roofed abidance, made an icon of several bloods. 2This icon depicted, and he dedicated it to, a saint of his realm.
14. divined an embodiment
1Contemplating in the red-roofed abidance, the romani master divined an embodiment. 2On a wall, the sigil of the diviners appeared.
15. an ellipse and a cup
1In the red-roofed abidance, the romani master saw an ellipse on a wall and a cup resting on a plinth. 2The foci of the ellipse represented two vast cities, one to the East and one to the West. 3He saw that these cities are connected. 4The cup emitted a compelling glow.
16. saw a weeping form
1Leaving behind the red-roofed abidance, and energised by his plan to reach agalia, the romani master began to enter higher country. 2In the early evening of the first day he saw a form, set into a range that he would have to cross, from which blood wept.
17. into the red hills
1Later, the romani master ventured deep into the red hills, which became hanging valleys high in the mountain range. 2He passed by temples and shrines.
18. evening came to the hills
1Evening came to the red hills. 2The romani master lingered near an abidance used in the conveyance of sailors who were passing away.
19. he saw running dead
1That night, deep in the red hills, the romani master came upon a dark plain. 2He saw two sailors rise from their grave and begin to run. 3Their tomb was dark and empty.
20. three blood vessels
1Entering the tomb, the master lighted a taper in order to find his way. 2In a corner of the tomb, illuminated by the taper, he encountered three vessels made of blood.
21. saw a red bird rising
1In the fading light of his taper, he turned to see a dark cross on a plinth. 2The cross gradually transformed into a blood-red bird, that rose from the plinth, its wings outstretched.
22. saw the bird at dawn
1The following day, at dawn, the romani master saw the blood-red bird on a branch. 2A distant ancient cone began to express fire.
Inspirations for some of the paintings
No. 2 – Photograph by Max Hutzel, Umbria–Perugia–Spello–S. Maria della Rotonda, Image 20.
No. 4 – Drawing by Louis Ducros, Vue du Château della Brucca prise de terre, 1778.
No. 6 – Photograph by Paul Strand, Village, Mexico.
No. 7 – Photograph by Paul Strand, Ranchos de Taos Church, New Mexico.
No. 17 – Photograph by Max Hutzel, Campania–Caserta–Santa Maria Capua Vetere–Mitreo, Image 33.
No. 18 – Photograph by Paul Strand, Church, Mexico.