Astrid Preston


by Johanna Domokos

Translated from the Hungarian by Michael Heim

When a painting moves us, it refines our consciousness; it heightens our awareness of everything around us. The slightest quiver can awaken wonder in us. If we need this tranceline state, it is because there is much that is coarse in our souls. Following the wondrous play of the elements in the painting, we glide weightlessly towards beauty in anticipation of the day when we may travel unimpeded through time and space.

Red Forest

A stretch of deep-red woods, embraced, experienced, growing. Into a broad land. Into a revolving orb. So beautiful it shatters the indifference of seeing. The blood of the air inhaled, the heart line of the branch’s spine, a continuous interweaving – such is the miracle articulated by the language of the elements in the painting. Delivered from without, then caressed and returned with gratitude. The experience of the miracle shatters the self-made filter blunting our senses.

Deep-red compassion sweeping through all the colours: What material has the soul left to don? Black-red proclaims a language yet unknown and holds mirror up to us. We can see ourselves. Against a background of wasteland, body parts, and the always present miracle-without-miracle. Time in the mirror is polychromic, but we prefer to ignore that. on one level humans are left out, on another - nature. Watching with closed eyes. Consternation. One of my eyes is crying. The other one is crying too. (Bare Trees)

Deflection is not a question of when. Quiver and colour, though one, are wrenched asunder by experience. Let us begin from the beginning. Gathered together. Tall. Looking inward. Simple, shadowed paths, free as the convolutions of the heart. Their faces so close as to let laughter tough the passions’ finders. A flash lasting the pulsated breath of an aeon, a century, a moment. Present. In spirit. Always. Daring to be open to everyone.

Feel the challenge from above in a different way, as if proceeding from the below. Some need a hand proffered, others need space opened for the rhythm of their beings. Do you see the pre- colour Earth, the Yellows?

Let us begin for eternity.

Silence 2002

There is a fire inside the planet. It wears flesh and a coat of earth several miles thick. The coat’s weaver is humus. We need the putrefaction of plants and bodies. While the earth coat hardens from silklight into concrete, the coal structures form an increasingly hard body. What we perceive is the coat. And below, inside? Inside is where darkness turns to light.

The fog of orientation. But not misleading; no, a companion on the long journey of birth. A myriad of unbounded ideas, free, the valences af the mind. What developer do you use for your stories? How many have tried to see and make others see the mind’s unmitigated snapshots? In how many ways? Having followed the wondrous play of the elements in the painting, we find wonder everywhere.

The earth is warm. A lake nearby. Dawn is approaching. The air reaches its capacity. Like the mind it overflows and starts crystallizing. The fog heats the elements into potentials, colours the invisible. It makes what is with us more sensory. Relations. We go far in inner space. Disguise falls by the wayside, structure juts out and calm appears.

I remove from myself the imaginary fog at the liberating gate of the realm of life. Shall I take it with me or shall I make it visible? Fogfulmination. Making it perceptible is primary. It feels comfortable in anticipation, in its inner voice. It slows time down, it slows Down motion. Minutes go on for hours, lives for thousands of years. I experience the joy of great-grandmothers and great-grandfathers. Everyone’s wonderful calm.

Dawn has come. Not at all hidden. Like out secrets. The fog turns to dew. Your breath is moist.


One face is watching from afar: from the world of happiness. Far away, dissolving the ties of anger and anxiety. Blissful in the landscape. It bathes it with compassion and loving kindness. From there. Gently. Its hearts are these birds. On the branches of our body. Portraying a thousand unshaded faces, each on its own, and recognizing ourselves in this picture of a thousand faces. With how many faces do you let the world shower you with presents? With how many faces do you gaze back at it?

Call home the winds that scatter the minds like ashes. Take the embers back from the ashes, the glowing windcalm of the present. Birds sing in the season of fire. Their brief songs, echoing in our hearts, dissolve the veils of the mind, and our faces, refined by them, radiate. Because it searches not for subjects but shows the road. Turning into a thousand faces. Riverbed of joy. For moving, speaking, birth and death. Crossing over the supreme trust and likewise being born. HOME. On this side and on the other. Complete overlapping. The birdsong you hear is from this side.



Through Branches 2004

A sparkling green hillock. Trees all around. A feeling of peace: it is warm, the sun is out. Two people are going up the hill. Slowly. Quite slowly. Conscious of both movement and stillness. There is a happy avoidance of haste in their slowness, a subtle heightening of Fire. For it contains the rapid scaling of the hill, the shoes, the clothes flying into the wind and light-invisible. As the two are themselves.

Goodness at every step. Patience. Kindness. Which is needed to revere the wheat. Which is needed to reproduce the leaves. Which is needed to remember the ever-blossoming and fruiting trees of light. The sky is near. The fragrant every-grass, the fragrant every-tree. The air, in which everything will become light and delicate, is full of the aroma.



Floating Gardens

Neither heavy nor light. Neither up nor down. Neither real nor illusory. Neither nothing nor something. But the AND. Birth at this crosspoint. Landscape in colour bubbles, stories in form bubbles, emotions from memory bubbles. The lightness of life. The following gaze does not become visible.

Mantra syllables in landscape bubbles to keep our understanding from remaining partial. Everyday breathing in bubbles. We tremble from transitoriness, fearing the suffocation of happiness. Where is the Bright, Deep Blue?

The heart-eye discovers the bubbles’ hidden Blue. Not the colour; no, the pervasive joy and beauty without antipode. The empty-blue stretches into the landscape, giving it life, and helping it to transcend. From extasis to instasis.

Balance outside and in. Gravitation on to emptiness. The strength-whole pulsating in the parts. Form is empty. Emptiness is form. There is no emptiness without the possibility of form. There is no form without emptiness.

Copyright © 2014-2017. All Rights Reserved.