“What do you call these visions who seem strange yet familiar?” I am asked.
One visitor thinks them medieval, another from the Renaissance, still another claims they belong to the future.
A new visitor connects them to Picasso’s Saltimbanque Family.
I tried calling them clowns, but would awkwardly qualify them not to be from the modern circus.
They are the clown of Shakespeare or Rouault or possibly Watteau.
In correspondence to Rouault, his friend Andre Saures describres “the clown is a leader, the very opposite of victim. The clown is wisdom or its parody, folly….”
I think, in this respect, they are clowns.
Several years ago, a visitor suggested the word refugee. “They are refugees from your mind, they are presented without connection to surroundings, they have the look of having left one place for another.”
I think they have a strong refugee quality. These visions have departed their origins in the deep centers of the earth, traveling through my unconscious into the light.
Recently a regular visitor suggested to call them pirandellos after Luigi Pirandello, Italian futurist playwright.
Pirandello asks through his characters what is real, what is truth. “Can we even know our real selves, let alone other people? Is what we pass off as ourselves to our friends real or an illusion? Which is nearer the truth—the face or the mask?”
Yes, I thought, my characters, as Pirandello’s, cross the line between the inner and outer world asking some of the same questions.
The next visitor suggested to call them piradello. It is Pirandello without the n, the negative, the pessimism.
I think these beings could be called piradello. Piradello sounds right, like a combination of pierrot, punchinello and Piero della Francesca.
These piradello are clown, refugee, medieval, renaissance, futuristic,. They are from somewhere else; yet belong among us.
The piradellos are not pessimistic. As a visitor proclaimed, “They look out into the unknown searching for the infinite.”
Another visitor observed, “They are like a mirror—when we look into their eyes we see ourselves.”
I think it is true, somehow these piradellos help us be conscious of our own existence.
In this sense, as a visitor explained, they are guides.