Oh Dear

And Oh My! I saw this and could only puzzle over it. I don’t know the artist or the location or the time period. Someone did point out the shoes, suggesting the Netherlands or Holland. I suppose the time  period is irrelevant. But I don’t know the suggested meaning. A title by the artist always helps a great deal. At least it could point us in the right direction.

the psychedelic museum

The Psychedelic Museum

I understand that meaning is subjective and we can take or give whatever it is that is suggested to us. But. When I look at this I wonder if it is the skeleton of the person who lives here or if the skeleton is waiting for the person who lives here.

Or. Does the skeleton not exist for the person who lives there, the unbidden reminder of the death that awaits us all? Is it a specter? Is it that one place is set and the other is forever waiting for what or who will join us?

I do note that the skeleton is quite tired, his (or her) head tilted downward. And yet, the candle is still lit, and is new. In any case, I am fascinated by this portrait of puzzlement. Oh…oh…another thought. Is it perhaps Time that is waiting and dying at the table we have yet to join?

So you see, wouldn’t a title help? Or is one of the central reasons this is so enchanting that we don’t know?

About Phil

Philip Kindred Dick died in Santa Ana, California, on March 2, in 1982 (aged 53). Vintage Books & Anchor Books.


“How undisturbed, the sleep of the foolish.” —RADIO FREE ALBEMUTH by Philip K. Dick

In Radio Free Albemuth, his last novel, Philip K. Dick morphed and recombined themes that had informed his fiction from A Scanner Darkly to VALIS and produced a wild, impassioned work that reads like a visionary alternate history of the United States. Agonizingly suspenseful, darkly hilarious, and filled with enough conspiracy theories to thrill the most hardened paranoid, Radio Free Albemuth is proof of Dick’s stature as our century’s greatest science fiction writer.

But and then. We always have to ask, especially with Sci-Fi, which is fiction, and which is the inside trip, the following of the yellow-brick road inside the gray matter. Valis.

Because I Can’t Forget

I’ve used memory
to prod something lose
to give a sharp instrument
for the forced breath
of the frauds and creeps
that swell into the night
from what we cannot see
with your eyes or mine
gouged bloody from a face
when laughter echoed
mirror’s diamond glass then
cut him free, away from me
the ravished boy
once golden in the sun
then laid unmoving on the floor


I’d look forward to death if I thought that there I’d find him in some heaven of myth or religion.

Some place of golden beauty and loves of time and gifts of animals that we have loved and that have loved unbidden.

But lacking heaven I’ll seek out death to end in peace where I’ll not have to think or remember or dream.

And it won’t matter that he’s not there.