NIGHT 47 – THE STORY OF KING UMAR ‘IBN AL-NUMAN AND HIS FAMILY

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ELYSIAN

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The Isles of the Blessed. Happy mortals retire here in the hereafter. Streams murmur through the meadows in Virgil’s Elysium of shining fields and mossy beds. These are the Fortunate Isles of the afterlife where, according to Homer and Plutarch, a gentle breeze blows every now and then. A pictorial meditation on eternity, I imagine these Elysian Fields to be a sort of willow or linden green, suspended in time so that it is always 4pm on a sunny afternoon, an eternal present moment where the foliage and landscape are bathed in that special golden light. I imagine that, were a soft wind to blow around the painting, the tapestry roots would temporarily be stirred, much like our happy immortals, who would briefly look up from whatever eternally satisfying occupation they were engaged in when that gentle breeze wafts around them, then go back to their occupation. Thus the slow life of an immortal continues…

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