Icarus Landed Safely in Idyllwild

I took a few moments to ponder if I had any regrets. I had none.

Today, in my Idyllwild studio.

The other day I picked up Icarus Landing, he had been hanging over the Pacific at the magnificent home of Jennifer Grossman. It was on loan.

Icarus is an epic work, not because of the complexity in execution, that was fairly simple, rather it is in the mental play of theme. Icarus flew so high that his man-made wings melted. In the old myth he crashed and burned. Then it served as a hen-pecked warning not to be adventurous, not to follow through on your greatest dreams, not to be extraordinarily ambitious, and not to risk everything. That moral to young men and women was to be safe and cautious. In a time when the average life expediency was somewhere in their 30s, and wars, pirates, and border skirmishes where a time a dozen. Play safe and you still died young.

I changed the legend to go for it, to experience amazing desires, to see the world from great heights, to perceive it all, gain wonderful experiences, and then come safely back to earth with the wisdom of several lifetimes. Lifetimes of following truth, to be your best, to evolve—to experience eudaemonia.

A few years ago I was rushed to the hospital with pneumonia and a vicious attack of migrating gout, attaching my lower rib cage, which puzzled the doctors. I truly believed I would not survive the night. I remember being amazed by the people helping me, the pain was intolerable [for instance I could not speak because the effort to breathe created severe sharp pains] and until they knew it was they couldn’t give me any pain meds. I found the whole experience fascinating, and I was cataloging all my perceptions. I didn’t want to die, but that seemed to intensify my awareness—like the paramedics that lowered me into the ambulance, they were insanely gentle. I did take note that this was what dying was like, and I took a few moments to ponder if I had any regrets. I had none. And I was so happy that when faced with death I knew I had lived my life as fully as I could.

We rarely get to know in advance if we are doing the right thing. Two fields help us with that, history and art. History shows us cause and effect and art projects us to what our futures might be (bad if it is nihilist art and good if it is benevolent art). My vision of Icarus is the way of a benevolent future both for humanity and on a deeply personal level.

Michael, Idyllwild, 11/17/2021

Newberry, Icarus Landing, 2000, acrylic on linen, 55x36"
Newberry, Icarus Landing, 2000, acrylic on linen, 55×36″

For info and availability check my archive.

2 Replies to “Icarus Landed Safely in Idyllwild”

  1. Beautiful, Michael. Glad you’re doing well and had such a profoundly positive experience.


    Sent from my iPhone


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: