In Arcadia

This is a medium-resolution photo of the large (4 by 3 foot) third painting I did in Gisborne, not entirely done but at present I’m calling it finished, through practical exhaustion and general awareness of mortality…

g3 cutout bit dark 11 09 15 copy

It is a personal/mystical/dream view of Kaiwaka, the scene of so much of my struggle for so long to realize Eutopia, a Good Place of more than ordinary Love, Beauty, Truth and Freedom. The Seagull/white dove wall I built last year for the visionary dressmaker Jenny Lynn Walker, who came to live in the ark building and hall. She felt exposed there on the main road, and we agreed on a white dove to go with the Dove Dress she was going to create. Things still didn’t go as well as she had hoped and she moved on, sadly. The dove remains, and while we were in Europe, inspired by Chagall’s museum in Nice I had the vision of painting a mural on the inside of the Dove Wall. However, the new grandson in Gisborne needed to be seen, and the Appletree cottage settled, so I restrained myself/was restrained by big brother! and have instead painted a picture of me painting that possible mural. Perhaps I will get back up there to paint it; perhaps not. But the Painting, which I am calling Arcadia, remains…

The embossed caption around the frame reads:


I can explain some of that, if you like. 🙂 The Ark, or Arc, in Kaiwaka just over the river from Eutopia, was a second try at a place of Eutopian endeavours after we sold Cafe Eutopia. Arcadia is

‘A mountainous district in the Peloponnese of southern Greece. In poetic fantasy it represents a pastoral paradise and in Greek mythology it is the home of Pan.’ –

Eutopia is my version of Utopia – a ‘Good Place’ in Greek as opposed to the perfect but non-existent country of Utopia – literally ‘Not-a-place’. Cafe Eutopia in Kaiwaka was my attempt to manifest some of the qualities of such a place in my vision at least…

The Battle of Evermore is a reference to the song of that name by Led Zeppelin, about the battle between good and evil, mentioning Avalon and the Apples of the valley being ripe. It refers synchronistically (for me) to the fantasy epic The Apples of Aeden. Hence ‘the Apples of Aeden ripen’ – we hope the epic will be read more!

The Threshold of a Dream is the title of a wonderful mystical song, and album, by the Moody Blues which inspired my building of Eutopia back in 2000. The verse ‘Live hand in hand, and together we’ll stand on the threshold of a Dream’ was my inspiration all these years. But we mostly managed no more than to stand on the threshold, and were never able to really go through it…

The White Dove is from Dylan’s song ‘Blowing in the Wind’, and the white dove Noah sent out looking for land; and the Dove of Aphrodite. She does rest, there on the main road of Kaiwaka… Yet nothing specifically Eutopian, or Arcadian, or Aphroditean is now happening behind her walls – the Ark is rented by the room and the visionary Dressmaker has departed. We stood for a while on the threshold of a dream again there, but never broke through, or found the key to the door.

Yet, in hope on the subtle level the ‘Endless River’ Pink Floyd nostalgically sing of  (in ‘High Hopes’) IS rising in this time, as people learn and grow wiser and open to the real magic of the Universe.

The White Lady is the Divine Feminine so denied in our culture, and the Diamond represents Her lost clarity and wisdom as Sophia. She is also in the Apples of Aeden epic as Ainenia, the Lady of Aeden. And finally, she was what the Dressmaker wanted to see triumphant in Kaiwaka and the Ark. The Diamond of Waro  is (in short) a reference to a strange and wonderful mystical quest involving the limestone chasms of Waro, Hikurangi, in Northland. That story is not yet finished – if any story of that nature ever is – the circles just keep widening.

The blue wolf refers to the Dressmaker’s Husky dog, which was a handful, and more than once bit the hand that fed it. Blue – it just seemed right. Perhaps to stress its mystic nature underlying the doggy one. And Peter and the Wolf have some kind of connection. At least, the wolf has certainly been at my door often enough! And in Tolkien Carcharoth the wolf (like Fenris in the Norse mythology) bites off the hand of Beren, still holding the diamond-like Silmaril. There’s a fateful hand thing going on in my life. My mother used to say to me ‘You’re good with your hands, Peter – why don’t you make a living making things and selling them?’ She was afraid of my mind and where it might lead me (astray from the faith!). And the fortress of Eutopia and the Ark was my Orthanc. My shadow is perhaps Saruman, with his mind of wheels and machinery, and his sign the white Hand… I heard Gandalf say to me (really – I did!) one day, ‘Get out of Orthanc’ and I knew it was time for me to let go and move on. Sigh… A wizard gets too attached to his works at the peril of his soul.

I won’t try to detail all the scenes and their meanings so far as I understand them myself. But I will mention in honour the defender battling the gorgon-valkyrie up on the head of the Dove. He is a friend and encourager, and on one memorable occasion a literal defender from a great threat. He knows who he is. Though he doesn’t claim it, from time to time he does or says magic. For example: the difficult task of naming of the epic Apples of Aeden was finally completed when he told me he believed I’d dream the title. I scoffed at the notion, but then a few nights later I did! We were away at the time, and returning we went straight to cafe Eutopia. This friend happened to come in himself. He was holding a paper bag, a gift he said for me, a spur of the moment purchase from an op shop. Looking inside I was amazed to see two red apple-shaped candles. He had not known that the night before I had been given (by the Lady in my dream) the title of the epic!

So, the mystical is, Faery is all around us, the Endless River does rise, and we must just come down from our Orthancs and go with the Flow.

Whew! Email me if you are fascinated and want to buy a copy 🙂

Ps: the girl in the back of the Car is of course reading the Apples of Aeden. 🙂 You can get the first volume, The Girl and the Guardian, as an ebook free here: The Girl and the Guardian or for 99 cents on Amazon Kindle: The Girl and the Guardian.