Waterfall 4

Another photo that Sean took some years ago in the Fairy Glen, Rostrevor, Co. Down.



Filed under Death, Ireland, Memories, Photography

30 responses to “Waterfall 4

  1. papaguinea

    Brendano, even though I may have seen this before, it still looks like its the first time this water has gushed from the rock; it is so fluid, I think either Marya or Cymbeline gave very apt descriptions of a similar shot. The effect Sean has captured is breathtaking. If water was transformed into spirit then I’m sure this is what it would look like. it is such a beautiful image of both power and freedom. God I wish I could bathe beneath its folding swirls! Angel water, that’s what it is!

    • Hello PapaG … I hope you enjoyed the celebration with your Ghanaian friends on Saturday.

      I’m glad you like the photo … I agree that it’s a beautiful shot. Sean certainly had a good eye and good technique … he was very young when he took these, and clearly had a lot of potential as a photographer.

      The other ‘waterfall’ photos I’ve posted are here, if anyone is interested:




      • papaguinea

        Yes it was a renewal of vows on a tenth wedding anniversary. A 3 hour service with music and speeches and photo shots. 3 hours is a long stretch for me, especially being bombarded by African voices down a mike, but on balance it was well organised and presented with food laid on afterwards. In the evening I attended an extension party and exhibited some wild dancing to delight the Ghanaian women folk – the only white guy there! And then I had to rest haha. Kojo (David Junior) was dressed in his bank managers’s suit and took a transparent plastic spoon from the wedding do as a souvenir. He was holding the spoon in his hand all the way home as he walked with me. We rested on a park bench halfway home and I took a photo which I shall e-mail to you with a couple of others .I was whacked out. But attended Holloway the next morning!

        I appreciate the other ‘falls’. But number 4 is something else!” It refreshes the soul.

        • The photos have arrived … they’re great! Kojo looks resplendent, and the group photo is like something Goya might have tried to capture … full of life. Thank you .. I’ll show them to Pauline.

          It’s funny how a young child will develop a liking for an object like a plastic spoon, and have to have it with him.

      • Hello Brendano and Papaguinea. Splendid photograph. It is very different to the other waterfall photographs. To me, it looks like the old woman’s long white dress in the Goya painting ‘Qué tal?’ Sean has done with his camera what Goya did with his paintbrush. The yellow/orange leaves at the top remind me of the woman’s eyes. The darkness of the rocks reminds me of the darkness in the painting. I tried to download a picture of the painting, but I can’t for some reason. It is a painting I have loved and thought about for many years.

        The Ghanaian celebration sounds great, Papaguinea. Are you familiar with any of the Ghanaian languages? What sort of food did you eat?

        • Thanks, Cymbeline. I had a look at images of that painting, which is certainly dark. You’re right; I can see the parallels in the photo.

          I’m doing some work on a book about Schelling and his idea of ‘dark ground’, which somehow seems to fit too (not that I know a great deal about it as yet … a precursor of Jung’s idea of the collective unconscious).

        • I had a quick look at Schelling. Far too quick to do him any sort of justice, of course. However, from the little I have just read, I think that he sounds very interesting indeed. I see that he is considered to have coined the term ‘unconsciousness’. For him, the unconscious is a source of creative power, rather than a source of psychopathology. I much prefer that idea to the Freudian one, and on an instinctive level, I think that it is truer too. I think that Freudian theories can create a great deal of damage, because of their falseness. I see that Coleridge liked Schelling’s ideas. Interesting about the idea of the ideal springing from the real, not the real from the ideal. Naturphilosophie. Most refreshing too to see that he attached importance to intuitive forms of intelligence. I saw something about anxiety being a source of creativity too. I think that was linked to the idea of ‘dark ground’.

          He was criticized for skipping from one subject to another and for not being methodical and ‘scientific’ enough. Not a man of rigid doctrine. Yes, a very interesting thinker.

        • I knew nothing about him before today. A lot of the psychological theorizing is quite heavy and I haven’t really absorbed it, but I can see that the ideas are interesting, including his ideas on God.

          I always find Freud’s ideas very dull and implausible … I much prefer Jung, as you know. Not that I’m an expert on either … far from it.

          Yes, Schelling changed his ideas drastically in the course of his life. A very fluid and flexible thinker.

        • papaguinea

          Greetings Cymbeline. My wife speaks Twi which I think is Ashanti. Alas i know few words to say… some greeting words and a word that shouts “make way” which I learnt to use in a crowded market, only for amusement purposes really! The Ghana food was served in a small upper room in the hall we had attended. We were packed in like sardines and I feared for our safety had their been a fire alert, the room accessed by an iron spiral staircase. It was a small miracle the crowd actually sat in this shoe box and,were served at all. (Brendano will send you a few snaps of the event.) The food was not piping hot so least said the better. I enjoy some Ghana food but am not a fan of fufu or sticky okra soup which is gooey and stinky-poo. I have adjusted to the smells of Ghana food in our kitchen, something my neighbour never has! Please enjoy the pictures of Kojo (David Junior). i

        • When I referred to the ‘darkness in the painting’, I was speaking about the pigments, not about darkness of the soul.

          Perhaps you understood what I meant, but I wanted to make sure.

        • Papaguinea. I am very honoured indeed to learn that you are going to send me some photographs via Brendano. Thank you so much.

          Thank you too for answering my questions. Most interesting about your wife’s linguistic group.

          I have eaten okra. Ladies’ fingers.

        • Two of the photographs have just arrived. Thank you very much. A smart and joyous affair. Young Kojo looks like a little prince. Does he speak Twi as well as English?

          Always a great privilege to be a guest amongst people of another culture.

        • I felt that there were both kinds of darkness.

        • Yes, but I do not see the rocks in Sean’s photograph as dark in the sense of darkness of soul. I was comparing only the visual aspects of his photograph with those of the painting.

        • Thank you for Papaguinea’s third photograph. I like the way it shows the children’s world amidst the bustle. A trio of three different expressions, all interconnected.

        • Goya’s work certainly became very dark and macabre in his later years. The ‘Qué Tal’ is not dark in the sense that Satan devouring his child is dark. I believe that it was meant as a piece of biting social satire, criticizing wealthy mutton-dressed-as-lamb women such as the one in the painting, attended to by her maid. By extension, it can be seen as a criticism of human vanity.

          He became ill, deaf and full of rage about war. That is when he became truly dark and macabre. After that, I think he just painted everything black, including the walls of his house.

          The earlier paintings are different. The court portraits are rather boring of course, but the Maja is wonderful, both clothed and unclothed. The unclothed Maja is I think the first painting in Western art depicting female pubic hair. There is that very famous bright and sunny one too, with the woman holding a parasol.

          One day I went to the Prado to look at Goya’s paintings. I spent a long time there. When I emerged into the streets of Madrid, I saw an old crone walking on the pavement. She was in rags and her feet were bare. Her toenails were so long that they clicked on the pavement. For some reason, I held my hand out to her and she hit me with a thin, whippy stick. I have mentioned this story before.

        • Sorry for the delay in responding, Cymbeline. One of Sean’s friends was here … he watched the Ireland-Estonia match with Pauline and me, and we played our guitars.

          I know I’ve seen some Goya paintings in the National Gallery in Dublin, and was very impressed with them, but I don’t tend to remember particular paintings too well … my auditory memory is better than my visual memory. Thanks for the info on Goya. I agree with what you say about the painting in question … it seemed mocking to me.

          I used to enjoy going to the National Gallery in London … I went there a lot because I worked near by. Also the National Portrait Gallery. Pauline and I went to the Picasso Museum in Malaga, and the Picassos in Dublin probably made the biggest impression on me (bravura) (I may have told you all this before). I went to the Tate Gallery in London to see the Pre-Raphaelites, and I once made an appointment for a private viewing of two John Everett Millais paintings at the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin, because I was writing something about MIllais. I sat in a room, a porter brought in the paintings, I looked at them for a while and then he took them away again. It felt a bit odd.

          I remember the story about the woman in Madrid. You seem to have a gift for offbeat encounters.

        • I love the story of you sitting in a room and having the Millais paintings arrive for you by porter. Excellent.

  2. papaguinea

    Cymbeline, you had asked whether Kojo speaks Twi. No, certainly not here in the UK though he does understand some of it as his mother is often on the phone speaking Twi and will often speak in Twi in the house to Ghanaian visitors. I think my wife would say he DOES use the odd word when in Ghana; he was there last Christmas for a two month holiday, spending a lot of time with his granny who only speaks Twi though by all accounts he was teaching Granny English!

    I have enjoyed looking at that gown worn by the old crone in the Goya picture (Que Tal). The painting of that cloth is absolutely exquisite. And then I switch to Sean’s photo of the swirls of cascading water, and imagine my hands cooling in the falls, yet not needing to towel my hands dry!

    • Papaguinea, I have been reading about Twi, which I gather is also known as Akan. When I looked at the photographs of the Ghanaian celebration, I thought that the people looked very Caribbean in many ways. As you know, the main population of the West Indies descends from those who were transported by force from West Africa. I have just read that a form of Twi is still spoken in Jamaica and in Suriname. In Jamaica, a Twi naming convention has survived too, with children being named according to the day of the week on which they were born. I have also been reading about the Anansi spider stories. Anansi is a trickster spider who can take on human form. These Ashanti stories and are still told in parts of the West Indies and in Suriname. Does your wife know these stories? Does Kojo know them?

      Kofi Annan is from Ghana isn’t he? His daughter boarded at my old school. I think that the school still uses it as a bit of an advertisement.

      Like you, I feel that I would like to put my hands into the water so beautifully photographed by Sean.

      • papaguinea

        Cymbeline, no I hadn’t heard of the Anansi spider stories but my wife says she remembers some of them as a school girl. I will look them up as best I can as I would readily relate them to Kojo. Yes, Kojo is Monday born

        I didn’t know of a form of Twi being spoken in Jamaica or Suriname and when i looked up to compare name days of the week I discovered the names were very similar. Kofi is Friday born.

        I love the colour and vibrancy of the clothes worn by Ghanaians,, very much a statement for their personalities too. Two shirts have this week been given to me from my wife’s mother in Ghana – very snazzy and roomy! Sometimes I have worn Ghanaian shirts at the school where I worked, partly to arrest the attention of the children (and the Headteacher!)

        As for the waterfall, yes, liquid nitrogen!

  3. papaguinea

    Brendano i do hope you don’t mind a Ghana thread running through the waterfall! I think it is marvelous that Sean has facilitated this.

    • I’m delighted to see this kind of thing on my blog, PG. I’d like it to be a place where people feel free to talk about anything and everything.

      Coincidentally, I just had an email from the ‘Bank of Ghana’ (which abbreviates itself as ‘BOG’). So, it looks like I’m in the money. 🙂

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