Leaping Into the Eel's Death Colors O/C, 81 x 12", '17
This painting, a response to Maj Ragain's "Home to the Sargasso Sea," begins with “Every writer finds a new entrance into the Mystery”. I found a new entrance into my painting while contemplating Maj's remembrance; his childhood remembrance of a well cleaned and an eel found within, miraculously journeying from Sargasso Sea. It was killed. Maj's concludes, "The body of the eel still thrashes and churns in the ocean of memory, then dances like a hanged man at the end of a rope. A life hardly contained by its form. A living beauty like nothing I’d ever seen. Her death colors came from a place deeper than the well. Her journey ended there in Illinois. She never made it home. The Totten farm has been abandoned for half a century. The well is still there, open all the way to the Sargasso. In the darkness, something turns."
Ragain, Maj. "Clouds Pile Up in the North: New & Selected Poems. Press 53, Winston-Salem, 2017. p xiv