Friday, August 13, 2010

Honi soit qui mal y pense

Since childhood I have loved the way this radiantly defiant expression more than merely trips off the tongue. I still think the light seduction it works in one's oral muscles and nasal resources is well worth a closing of one's door, to indulge the act, its insouciant cadence and its soothing resonance, a dance of a vowel line parsed by a sibilant whisper and soft press of the lips. I was taught it as a little mantra for playground courage; and as much as anyone, I needed some. It's those who have that kind of courage who are my heroes.

Here, working with a large and somewhat ambiguous image, I knew that whatever drew me to this face was concentrated within its contours, and I was pleased to believe I found it. The follow-through of the upper arm is strengthened by the set of the jaw and the confident lips; that's where this face held me, and confidently projected the distribution of the limbs, concluding with the hand resting at the waist. This is the image on my telephone screen. I admire this man.


  1. And I so admire you.

    It can only be described as a privilege (I may be repeating myself) to sit, quietly, and eavesdrop on the magnificent conversations that run so sweetly through each post.

  2. Beauty makes my soul stumble and sometimes even choke.

  3. I thank you for returning to engage the space, VT. Every day restores the chance to disappoint myself (see below), so I greatly appreciate your sympathy!

    And yes, Ivan, I was afraid someone of your eye would draw attention to the actual subject, but I should have been more frightened than I was, that he could do it justice in less than 10 words. How merciless of you to drop by !

  4. I see a warrior.

    1. In the first portrait, certainly, Anonymous, I do, too. I owe my impression to the helmet-like styling of the model's hair. This is precisely why I crop the portrait as I do, for the telephone home screen; I want to restore the face without the incongruous element.