Tuesday, April 09, 2013
the stain in the dish



The next film that Greer Garson made that was important to me, was

"Madame Curie".
By the way, TCM showed "Mrs. Miniver", "Random Harvest" and "Madame Curie", on March 11th, each film----one right after the other----what a feast this was for me and all fans of Greer Garson......!
"Madame Curie"was, of course, based on a real person....It is the story of Marie Curie and her dear husband, Pierre Curie, and their fantastic discovery of the then new element "Radium". I loved it when I first saw it as a kid in the 1940's, and there was something.....something mysterious and personal to me that I could not even have expressed at that time.
And when I saw it again, in the early 1970's, this film had a profound effect on me.
Sometimes there are things in films that tap into primal memories----important and life changing memories----"Madame Curie" is one of those profound films, for me. And that profoundness was brought to life by the performances of Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon---who played the two main characters.
The Curies spent a major portion of their of lives attempting to prove that there was this new element they called Radium. 

They knew that this fantastic force was found in Pitchblende. And for years and years and years, they rendered Pitchblende down and down and down till there was, finally, almost nothing left. After all of this back breaking work, there was nothing.
The rendering down of hundreds and thousands of pounds of Pitchblende left them with what looked like nothing, because there was nothing left but a stain in a dish. 
They were heartsick at this result. How could it be? That night they went back to the shed where they had worked through horrific winters and even more horrific summers, to look once more at what was left of all the years of this back breaking work----to look, once again, at the stain in the dish.
Upon arriving at their work-shed.....what they found was a miraculous glow. There, in the dark, the stain in the dish glowed with an energy that was visible and viable, and was fantastic.
They knew then, that all their work was not for naught.  They knew that it took that much Pitchblende to uncover this 'element'. 
I found this so very very moving.
Somewhere, deep inside me, I identified with the "life" in this glow of the stain in the dish.
Somehow, that was me.

I cannot explain how I know this next thing----but, trust me, I do know this to be true.

And I'm not sure I can express this in a way that will have meaning to anyone else but me.

My mother tried to abort me....maybe only in thought----though I "feel" it was in "fact".....And here is what it "felt" like: This cellular entity, me, was clinging to the side of my mothers uterus. 

It felt like pieces of me were falling away from the side of her uterus----and as these pieces got sluffed off from the life-giving side of my mothers uterus--it felt like I could no longer hold on and so the pieces of me fell away; it felt like my life was slipping away, and, finally, the little bit of me that was left-----the little bit that was still able to cling on, yet still barely had life---was like the stain in the dish. And I glowed deep inside with this little bit of life.....
I was like the stain in the dish.

I did a whole series of paintings during that period----depicting, in an abstract way....this clinging on and this falling away.....

In these paintings, the center of these abstract things had this red glow of life, and the outside part of these roundish cellular looking entities had a brownish look---as if dying.....And the further away they got from the life force, (the lining of my mothers uterus), the less that glow existed. The less "life" existed in these fallen away pieces. They were dying and being sluffed off.
 I was dying and being sluffed off.

After this revelation, I wrote a paragraph or two about this and at my Art Show that year, I posted these paragraphs to explain a little something about the paintings that were hanging in that particular show, and how the film "Madame Curie" was the catalyst for all that I felt and expressed through these paintings.  And how I identified with the glowing stain in the dish.

Those paintings were created in 1971-72.
I don't have any other images of those paintings that I can post at this time, because they are slides and I haven't been able to scan them on to my computer at this point----when I finally can scan them, I will post them......

That I survived at all is some kind of miracle, just like that stain in the dish..



More To Come........












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18 Comments:
had this to say:

Wow~ what a powerful post. I am sure glad you survived, my friend.

Primal memories are powerful.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at 12:28:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Sorry to use Riot Kitty's word but: Wow! Wow, yet not a surprise that anyone can find a huge relationship from a movie (a story). Stories come from real happenings and so eventually some of them have to relate in such a way.. but your's is huge! And the paintings that followed! Just amazing Naomi!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at 3:31:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

That's kind of heavy. Do you feel resentment towards your mother? Did you confront her? This is a Pandora's Box of questions. My current post is such fluff compared to this deep excavating you've done here.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at 4:30:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi, this is so powerful and so sad. I hope that your mother came to realize what a disaster that would have been, and what a special person you became in spite of it all.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at 2:27:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

This is so profound. Isn't it amazing that you made that connection, that you instinctively saw that connection? I've had a couple of moments like that in my life, and that "knowing" hits so deep, it's so personal. I felt a greater connection to the universe in those moments. I'm babbling, but I wanted to express my understanding. Thanks for sharing your story and art.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at 4:12:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

What a profound and moving post. Now I must see the movie. I have not seen in since I was a child, and I will think of you. So many people think movies are just a way to pass time---we know they are art, they are meaningful, and can change lives---touch us in a way nothing else can. Thank you for sharing this.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 7:05:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Sometimes, I think, there are things that we just know on an organic or cellular level.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 7:26:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

You weren't just a miracle. You are a profound blessing.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 9:19:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

That is an incredible connection! You took a "cellular" memory and expressed it in your art to, I can only guess, free yourself from the past. Madame Curie is another one of the films I only know from watching tv. You've added another dimension to this film. xoxox

Thursday, April 11, 2013 at 4:06:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Hello Fellow Feaginite: Illness has kept me away for a spell but I am back. This entry has moved me deeply and I am anxious to view your other 1971-72 works. And the Betty Garrett tribute, so beautiful. I have watched the video over and over. What a performer! As for Greer Garson, one of my warmest memories of movie going was when my parents took "us three kids" to see MRS MINIVER. That was the first time I saw my father cry and at that very moment, my appreciation for that phenomenal gentleman soared.
Yes, I was glued to the TV during the most recent Turner Classics tribute to Ms Garson.

Friday, April 12, 2013 at 8:06:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Wow. It's amazing how art can tell a truth that we have not put in words. I feel the power and truth of the Madam Currie story through your experience. I have an experience that happened to me when I was four that summed up the whole of my infancy (being left on two occasions for a month at a time before the age of one). It took me a long time to piece it together since it happened when I was so young. I found it to be a part of the emotional root that contributed to the physical expression of my Chronic Fatigue.

When I was a girl I felt awakened by the movie, A Christmas Carol, the one from the 50's.

Friday, April 12, 2013 at 8:35:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Wow - strong post.

I've liked the artwork that I've seen from you previously, both pictures and photos, so it will be good to see more.

I think I'll look at them as 'the light that shines on', though.

Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 6:17:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi, this post is so moving and powerful. It is really amazing and profound, that seeing a film, "Madame Curie", you could made the connection with your life.
Love also your painting!
You are really a wonderful and special person! Thanks for sharing your story.

Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 8:27:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I have not seen this movie but will watch it when it comes on again. Sometime a movie, a book, a song, will click and change something in ourselves – I think you explained very well what touched you. It is a profound, honest and emotional post – thank you for sharing it.

Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 6:55:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I just adore you so ...

Sunday, April 14, 2013 at 4:00:00 AM PDT 

Blogger Pat
had this to say:

I can't imagine what that must have felt like.
I wonder if you ever talked about it with her? I know from my own mother there were some subjects one didn't talk about - with her it was the fact that she was pregnant at 18 before marriage. My last real conversation with her I hope finally convinced her there was nothing to be ashamed of.

It was a great film. In the late forties I had to read up all about the subject before I started training.
What a great discovery penicillin was. So many lives were saved.

Monday, April 15, 2013 at 4:09:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

What a complex thought and memory. I had an aunt who said she nearly aborted her son, tried to and then decided she wanted him after all. (I grew up in a family where abortion, although illegal still, was discussed openly). He became the joy of her life and her only child. Pregnancy has so many complex emotions tied into it. I am glad for the option for women today but do recognize it's something women need to think seriously about before it's a step they take.

Monday, April 15, 2013 at 8:51:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I really understand you. As someone who was adopted I know my birth mother could have easily aborted me. What an amazing connection the film had with your artwork. I'd love to see more of your work.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 6:57:00 AM PDT 

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