Artist Inspiration: Sergei Parajanov {The Color of Pomegranates}

July 22, 2016

Six years ago, I shared these screen shots with you
from the film poem The Color of Pomegranates (1968)
by acclaimed director Sergei Parajanov (1924-1990).

Somehow they expressed some of the pain in my heart
at a turbulent time and are so powerfully provocative
and beautiful, they are surely worth revisiting in this
season of such unrest in our country and universe
(with a few additional images). 

photo of Parajanov by Yuri Mechitov - filming "The Legend of Suram Fortress"

They are intensely sensual photographs and
bid me to go deeper into the story inside the story...

I discovered the story inside the story actually
had breathing within it, a collection of stories and history.

Maybe you know this story or the film.

Sergei Paradjanov's The Color of Pomegranates (1969).:

While I don't know much about Parajanov's
personal history, his The Color of Pomegranates
honors the Armenian priest, poet, and "king of songs"
Sayat Nova.

Nicolas Jaar Re-Scores 1969 Armenian Avant-Garde Film “The Color Of Pomegranates”:

Born in 1712, he served as an Armenian
Court Musician and Poet for the king of Georgia.

Such a romantic history...yes?

Hmm. Sort of.
Sayat Nova fell for the king's sister
(Princess Anna) and was...let go.

The Color of Pomegranates:

So he spent the rest of his life
as a monk writing music and poetry.

Tragic yet sweetly romantic...yes?

Sayat Nova was executed in 1795
by the army of Agha Mohammed Khan
for refusing to renounce his Christian faith.

The deep mysteries hidden within this film
and these screen shots strike a nerve, don't they?

In 2016, we are a planet still so
troubled with violence and confusion.

How many times must our hearts
be broken open over and over and over
'til they are sufficiently battered
so the light may get in?

Oh that we could put down the sword,
loosen the grip on belief systems and doctrine,
and open our hands to peace.
Oh that we could welcome all singers
to sing the unique song in their heart.

Love is stronger than death.
Sayat Nova's poetry and artistry live on.

Here we are...centuries later in cyberspace
considering faith, peace, and love while
luxuriating in a line from his Love Song:

"Thou art a gold-embroidered tent
to shield me from the heat."

The Color of Pomegranates

I pray we will discover
how to become that tent,
that shelter for each other.

I am a praying girl who seeks to do it ceaselessly
whether through silence, dance, painting, composing
walking, or engaging with nature.

Could blogging become a medium for prayer?

Peace to you right where you are.

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  2. Michelle, this was beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing this deep, soulful story. The images are profound and your words carry much healing. Yes, I think a prayer blog is a good idea. God knows our world needs more people praying no matter how or where!

    1. blogging while praying...sounds so wrong it could just be right. xox

  3. Wow stunning in a haunting kind of way. The stories are powerful and your words are a great match for them, yes our world needs an injection of compassion and tolerance now more than ever. It breaks my heart that we are leaving this world for our kids to have to contend with.....I will always believe that in the end, the will to make it a better place will ultimately win. Happy Sunday to you.

    1. my kids bring me hope. they see things we don't see and care more about the planet. i think they will make things better. xox


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