• Yes and no, dear sister Amy. I figure anyone understands this picture who has fallen into estrangement in a love relationship. Actually I first sketched it out a while ago, feeling stung and rejected, affection unrequited. Only recently, with time and distance, have I developed the image more to completion. It’s not a revenge image. Hopefully I pulled it out of the too subjectively personal, with the light of the Universal now falling on it. I should probably draw a counterpart, where there’s a man instead of a woman.

      I was also thinking of that Biblical saying: “Though I speak with the tongues of men and Angels, and have not love, I am as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” This drawing is a rendering of the invisible made visible, of a consequence of heartlessness, of living without loving. A void opens up in one’s center, which begins pulling everything into its vortex, converting everything into a lowly negative, cold and wet, like an earthworm. To confess, this quite often happens to me. I feel it to be a real danger, especially as I grow older. I can be quite cranky!

      I like the connection also to William Blake’s etching. I think however he had more elemental earth in mind, the place to which we all must return after we’ve lived our lives: to the soil. The worm symbolically depicted in his etching isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s a reminder of our mortality, something we can’t get away from and would do well to accept.

      Just like some monsters become less of a paralyzing terror the more, facing them, we discover their inner workings and actual nature, finding some understanding and a degree of sympathy, maybe if we befriend the worm, or at least don’t turn away and deny it, it ceases, tugging and sucking at our insides, to exert as much influence over us, finally detaching itself, no longer feeding on us, fattening and elongating itself. It’s still our mortal destiny to return to the soil with the worms, but it does us less harm the more we matter-of-factly face and accept it. I detect the gravity of unavoidable misery but also acceptance in the tone and accent of “I have said to the Worm, Thou art my mother and my sister.”

      O Worm, Thou art also a brother!

      Thanks for giving me an opportunity for a little commentary on this picture. I’m very grateful for you in my life. I love you too!


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