Like Fine China (Analysis)

Like Fine China Analysis

I wrote this poem, “Like Fine China“, without fully understanding what my subconscious was trying to tell me. After reading it a couple of times I realized the meaning behind the words. Fine China is the symbol for making art (something beautiful) out of sadness. The sadness is a constant cycle that manifests itself like patterns on fine China, royal “blue” (sad) details that I’ve etched upon the surface (my writing). When I have days that I break down, the porcelain breaks down, and I could use the jagged pieces of sadness to hurt myself but instead I choose to use them to build a display out of the broken pieces in the form of a porcelain vase (art from my mental breakdown) and there I show off pretty flowers (rhymes through poetry). The problem that arises from creating art out of sadness, sometimes sadness that a 3rd party might see as “old news”, is that these emotions I’ve recited are as good as dead to the world, hence why the flowers in the fine China vase I’ve built are decaying. The wonder in this, though, is that those decaying flowers offer me, the writer, solace. The cycle of sadness and creativity continues as the decaying flowers become a beautiful floral tea that I turn to for comfort as a grieve the ongoing pain I’m still in. Other people don’t see the benefit of the flowers (writing about perpetual pain), but I do. The entire process from fine china to a floral tea is cathartic, as is the artistic process, and in the end I feel okay and like I can survive my own mental state. Alas, a new day comes, the sadness inevitably returns as I am overwhelmed with reminders from the real world, and the pretty pain goes back to being “too pretty to comprehend” (commentary on not fully understanding what I was writing in the poem itself “Like Fine China”). Thus the entire breaking down of fine china (delving into an artistic outlet) occurs again.

Isn’t it incredible how art can be completely mindless but reveal something so profound in the mind it spawns from?

– Valerie Parente (10-6-2020)

Sage of Tarkus

Sage of Tarkus by Valerie Parente

The heartaches of war that plagued the land of Segaduses left many civilians absent of faith. Lost. Looking for a reason to live again.

Determined to receive some sort of direction from a beacon of wisdom, a damsel from Segaduses traveled thirty miles by knight and steed to arrive at a cabin deep in the woods of Tarkus, home of the most acclaimed sage in all of the land. She had been on a journey for the past three years, searching for an answer to all of her sorrow. This girl with the mint green eyes convinced herself that the cure to her faithless haze could be found by falling in love. Her journey, for the past three years, was none other than a quest for a beloved hero whom could fill her life with purpose and interpersonal connection.

The gown worn by the damsel of Segaduses billowed like a blossoming tulip as she seated herself across the sage.

“I’ve been expecting you, dear,” the pale old woman stirred her chalice, making a burgundy whirlpool of the most fragrant truth serum. As the aroma wafted into stuffy cottage the damsel’s nostrils were filled and the knowledge she had denied deep in the core of her brain was activated.

With a confident nod the sage pointed to the knight on the stallion, outside of the cabin, whom had brought the Segaduses maiden so far along her journey.

“He is the one,” the strong-minded sage determined. “The man on the stallion is the man you will wed.”

For a fleeting second the damsel’s brow furrowed, then quickly vanished. Suddenly with a panic the enlightened yet shocked girl hastily shook her head, as if to rattle away the wisdom of the perceptive woman before her. “Oh no, no… he can’t be. I’ve known him for three years… he’s, he’s always been there in the background. If he were the one I would have known.”

“Dear,” the sage’s raspy voice lowered to a tender lull, “Knowledge does not require your conscious consent. Sometimes our subconscious knows at first sight, but our mind does not realize that what we felt was knowledge until years have passed.”

It took the frazzled girl a moment to respond. Her mint green eyes shivered as she struggled to make sense of the sage’s wisdom. How could it be? How could she have wanted something so badly but have never realized it was right before her eyes?

Adamant that the sage of Tarkus must have made a mistake, the damsel allowed her stubborn mind to wonder aloud, “But how can he be my hero if he does not have my most coveted traits?”

“Well what are you looking for in a hero, my dear?” the sage asked.

“A hero who has the same interests as I do.”

“So he is a reflection?”

“A hero who loves me unconditionally.”

“So he is a father?”

“A hero who knows how I feel before I say it.”

“So he is omniscient?”

Having given up, the damsel sunk deeper into her seat.

“Dear, what your heartbreak longs for is not a partner. What you are describing is not an equal. You are describing a God.”

Having given up, the Segaduses girl fell deeper into her subconscious, realizing the knowledge her depressed mind had repressed for so long.

"Damsel" by Valerie Parente

– Valerie Parente (11-23-2017)

Two Types of Inspiration

yellow tulips

In artistic creation there are two types of inspiration, one which blooms from the conscience and one which blooms from the subconscious.

The first is when you get inspired by an emotional experience then try to immortalize the imprint of that experience through art. The second is when you, under the influence of a thoughtless drive, create something without fully understanding why then take step back and analyze where in your psyche that inspiration was rooted. Working backwards to find out why it is so aesthetically fulfilling to paint blood stain tears underneath your eyes or scribble decaying trees in illustrations.

– Valerie Parente (5-31-16)