I have often hesitated to reveal my true thoughts as to why I painted this particular scene. A woman has inspired me today (7/10/2001) to tell the story. I suppose there is nothing for which I need to feel ashamed. I think "the afterlife" may be a more positive theme as compared to the theme of "death." Her version was a delightful one.
In 1984, while living in a small apartment in Lowell, Massachusetts,
I was feeling a little depressed. I had an image in my mind of where I
would like to go after my death. It was actually a very pleasurable
fantasy -- briefly taking me away (to that place) where I could, in the
comfort of an astronomical sort of heaven, look back at my life as it
was and never was. I pictured my "safest place to go", to be inside a
clean and quiet room quite close to its opening. The room was a cave,
and the opening had a beautiful panorama of stars and (in this case) the
large planet Saturn -- seen here with the plane of its rings on edge.
The room had to be just a certain way. It would have a chair, a bed
near the well lit opening, a small wooden table, and a bottle of cold
pink wine and two glasses on it. I would simply sit there, looking out
into the universe, revisiting my life while sipping on the wine. Time
would lose its earthly meaning here. I would grow lonely, and in time,
there would be a woman to come visit. It would be a very romantic spot.
And here lies the truth to my story -- as this is really about
loneliness. There is much more to this story, but for now I will let it
be, and seek to learn from it.