Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My Confessions

Yesterday's post and comments got me remembering when I was delirious with love for Augustine. ["Saint Augustine of Hippo"]
I'd gone back to college when I was thirty-one and read his Confessions for a Roman History class. He reminded me of me: eating fruit off every tree, looking for the one that would make him wise; trying to get free of his beloved, clinging mother; and mulishly refusing to work hard at things he didn't like.

Because I loved him so much, I decided to learn Latin. I made this accordian book when I was taking a Latin class translating parts of the Confessions.
It was strictly a language class, I made the book for fun. (All cut-and-paste except the pears, which I drew in oil pastels.) I've barely looked at it since, until this morning I thought I'd like to show it to you guys.
So, fifteen years later, my translation, here, is very sketchy, based more on my memory of love than any memory of Latin.

"His Master's Voice"
Fortune Cookie: The dim haze of mystery will add enchantment to your life.

[Illustration: Transverse Section of Bone from the Shaft of the Femur]
...where do you enter into me, my God?

354 A.D. Augustine born in Thagaste [in present-day Algeria]
mother Monica; father Patricius/ JELLY ... doughnut
I don't know how I came into this mortal life, or should I say this living death....

Later, I began to laugh....
Why Greek was odious to me, I have never been able to explain satisfactorily.


370 A.D. That year my studies were interrupted when I was called home....
I wallowed in filth as if in spice and precious unguents.


There was a pear tree near our vineyard...

371 A.D. I came to Carthage burning with love. I did not yet love, but I was in love with love.
I read a philosophy book of his [Cicero] called Hortensius.


The sun and the moon are your beautiful works, my God; but they are only your works, they are not you....
That year I had one who wasn't my wife... (My boy Adeodatus was born out of my carnal sin. You, God, made him good.)


What, then, is beauty?
What is beautiful?

9 comments:

ArtSparker said...

What a lovely ...love letter? Sweet.

I like the jelly and the donut.

The Crow said...

I found you through ArtSparker's link. I am grateful - to Susan for posting your link and to you for posting such wonderful work as this and your earlier posts.

:)

femminismo said...

The pears are lovely and I like the look of the headless writers very much. - Jeanne

bink said...

Beautiful! Show me the book again, next time I'm over. I remembered it's existence, but not it's substance....or should that be it's substance, but not it's form?

deanna said...

What fun it would have been to homeschool you, Fresca. :o)

Fresca said...

Thanks, everybody!

Welcome, Crow!

Deanna, you're right--I did most of my best work getting my BA in Religious Studies as independent studies: basically "homeschool" in college.

momo said...

This is gorgeous! I love the colors, the textures, the words, and the fact that it is serial art. I can see why film-making holds such an appeal to you. I'd love to see this IRL as well!

Fresca said...

Momo: Wow, thank you for making the connection with filmmaking!
I'd never thought of it, but you are so right. My movies are an extension of the artist books I used to make. Cool!

Ill bring it along next time we meet for a beer.

Lee said...

Beautiful! Can I see this in person sometime?

PS my "verification" word below is "feckers". NOT as beautiful as your book, or Augustine's, but it really SHOULD be word! :-)