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Le vent se lève! il faut tenter de vivre! (The wind is rising!  We must try to live!)

This series of works I wanted to recreate the emotions felt through daydreams and cloud watching.  The clouds drift, the mind wanders, the eyes see how the landscape shifts with every moment.  Like the clouds, I had felt susceptible to the changes in the wind and the struggle to navigate through life’s uncertainties.

“Le vent se lève! il faut tenter de vivre!” quote from a poem by Paul Valery, loosely translated as “The wind is rising! We must try to live!”, an inspiration, formed the backdrop of this creation and became the title of this series.

Excerpt of Poem

Le cimetière marin 



Ce toit tranquille, où marchent des colombes,
Entre les pins palpite, entre les tombes ;
Midi le juste y compose de feux
La mer, la mer, toujours recommencée !
O récompense après une pensée
Qu'un long regard sur le calme des dieux !




Le vent se lève! . . . il faut tenter de vivre !
L'air immense ouvre et referme mon livre,
La vague en poudre ose jaillir des rocs !
Envolez-vous, pages tout éblouies !
Rompez, vagues! Rompez d'eaux réjouies
Ce toit tranquille où picoraient des focs !


Paul Valery



This tranquil ceiling, where white doves are sailing,
stands propped between tall pines and foundational tombs,
as the noonday sun composes, with its flames,
sea-waves forever forming and reforming ...
O, what a boon, when some lapsed thought expires,
to reflect on the placid face of Eternity!




The wind is rising! ... We must yet strive to live!
The immense sky opens and closes my book!
Waves surge through shell-shocked rocks, reeking spray!
O, fly, fly away, my sun-bedazzled pages!
Break, breakers! Break joyfully as you threaten to shatter
this tranquil ceiling where white doves are sailing!


loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

For the full Le Cimetière Marin poem and translation...


"Cloudy with a chance of sunshine"  and "Hot with a promise of rain" 

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