Night Trips No 6

Night Trips No.6
(1 print from the series)

Sacramento is a city of things that do not wish to be seen. I sought these images out when I heard the story (Knock on Wood) that the knocking sound prevents the Devil from hearing your unwise comments. In the middle of a modern city the old Mysteries are still with us. Searching the night in the storm with my camera and an open mind, they showed themselves for and instant, then were gone. Were they the devils of the old world or were they something else? I took the shot and walked away!

I thought of the poem “Acquainted with the Night”

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain — and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
A luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.

Robert Frost

Sacramento’s very own Hellmouth

“The Leviathan has a trick: when he is hungry, he opens his mouth and a sweet smell comes out. The fish are tricked by the smell and they enter into his mouth. Suddenly the whale’s jaws close. Likewise, any man who lets himself be tricked by a sweet smell and led to sin will go into hell, opened by the devil.” – the Codex Exoniensis, 10th century

The sin we are led to here is mediocrity. Sacramento is a beautiful city. It’s canopy of trees creates and atmosphere of serenity like none other; But that “sweet smell” which draws the artist here, comes at a price and leads some of us into a perverse version of hell where we must make “happy little creations” to the exclusion of all else, to survive.

For all its lofty protestations to the contrary, Sacramento is not a city that supports a wide swath of art in any meaningful way. Here “Safe” art is the only art, no other need apply.

Like the Leviathan, Sacramento’s Hellmouth opens and causes the artists of adult vision and creativity to suffer. “…for this city finds the suffering of such artist sweet and dost feed to excess.” – Dame Judith Agatha

Can Sacramento be transformed into a real art city, thus closing our Hellmouth once and for all? This artist thinks so and is going to give it one hell of a try. (Pun intended)