MICHAEL MURPHENKO

white sand

michael murphenko [artist's text]

White sand glows in the moonlight, almost brighter than the fire, and above it I see white hands moving out into air.  Below and around me there are different sands, with different colours of white, blue and grey. But ahead there is a glowing patch of white. During the day, the sky fire burns and there is only three broken shadows on the sand. But at night, everywhere is good to sit.

Tonight, in the middle distance, by the small fire there they sit, huddling around the fire of logs and branches, these three figures, almost as white, blue, gray as the sand.  Hugging frozen knees, they don't speak, but look deep into the fire.

The fourth is apart from them, straining in shadow. It’s funny but I don’t know why. After some time passes, the branch snaps almost perfectly in half.  Some things are so clear one moment, and then become blurry again. A white hand circles out and hurls the half-branch into what is left of the fire. 

Even away, at a distance, their feelings about themselves emanated like a heavy cloud. Maybe they are crushed under heavy clouds that could only be dismissed by light.
They all had a cross on each back, an intangible but crippling strip of iron stuck inside them, which acted as a whirlpool in all facets of their lives.  With that cross, they each became so obsessed with themselves, that there was nothing but each person and the dying fire ahead. There was nothing else to give the meaning they desire. Everything else was only shapes, shadows and mirages, but nothing real.
There is nothing more to be said, but so many words in their heads.
As if they were all waiting for an apology. That much was clear.

Will the entire world’s colour be bled away?
One experience may save me, a swimming in love, or an instance of terror, or an echo of prophecy. Yes, the sand is warmer than the wind or water, in my opinion.

They huddle alone, not together, lonely islands connected in woe, waiting for the moment to come.
Then, I can't see them, just like the sparks in my memories.

It's just as dark but I can feel them like a lump in the brain. I remember seeing a fish with two differently coloured eyes, about ten years ago, but I don’t know why.
I can already see how this will end again with white smiling faces and words unsaid.  Always at this distance the fire lights my eyes but not my body.
I can't see me, nor black seas but only white sands that are close by, just like all the challenges in my life.

Then water rises up red with roaring, one wave’s crashes and degrades the dancing lights that are on its visually empty surface. I looked away and when I look at the fire again, but there is nothing and no-one there.
What am I still doing here?

Then everywhere there is lapping waves and dancing moons and the last sound of white feet splashing, white hands flowing, mouths breathing, all underwater.
My inner eyes see faces upon faces, glowing in the cold blue water, pushing down into the darkness. The fire had gone out. 

Michael Murphenko, Brussels, May 2001