People will be wearing poppies today in Europe. In remembrance of almost the last of the massive European bloodlettings. The last being the battles which reconfigured Yugoslavia (1990-1992).
The innocent dead continue to pile up in European waters, in Asia, in Africa and especially in the Middle East where there has been continuous war since the beginning of the Arab Revolt in 1916. One hundred years of war.
Vast inequalities of wealth, of access to basic life goods, in lifespan continue within and between nation states.
These inequalities grow larger and larger with each decade of global warming and with every advance of computer-based technology and with each year that our neo-liberalism continues to demolish our spirit, our morals, our fair play.
This inequality is the reason and context of our wars.
Hallelujah for the increasing numbers especially of young people who have committed to fight this inequality, to watch what they themselves consume, to watch over the earth’s resources, to live in their fullest consciousness.
They are everywhere.
‘Now you can say that I’ve grown bitter, but of this you may be sure
The rich have got their channels in the bedrooms of the poor
And there’s a mighty judgment coming, but I may be wrong……’
Leonard Cohen, 1934-2016; from the Tower of Song. Poet, singer, Canadian.
Bohemia Lies By the Sea, 1996, and details. Oil, emulsion, shellac, charcoal and powdered paint on burlap. Anselm Kiefer, born 1946, German. Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The name of the painting of a vast field of poppies is that of a poem by the Austrian poet, Ingeborg Bachman, died 1973 and the name refers to a stage direction of Shakespeare in The Winter’s Tale: ‘Bohemia. A Desert Country by the Sea’.
This is a reference to Utopia because landlocked Bohemia cannot be accessed from the sea.
But we long to be there anyway.
Poppy Fields Near Argenteuil, 1875, oil on canvas. Claude Monet, 1840-1926, French. Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY