Bookmark and Share

The imagery of love

“Time unfolds you,” is the first line of “Redeeming Time — A Tribute to Salvador Dali,” by Darcy Downing, poet and writer.

Those three words could be used to explain a work by Dali which unfolded after his death and is considered one of his best pieces of work.

Salvador Dali, the Spanish surrealistic artist was a master of imagery. I watched a six-minute short film several times, wanting more. I asked the man in charge, “Where did it come from? How can I get a copy of it? Why haven’t we seen it before? Why is it hidden from the world?”

Not only the work, but the destiny of the film itself intrigued me. The film by Salvador Dali called “Destino – Destiny of Love,” found its own destiny after a half of a century.

This film is of the image of a burning flame melting the white waxy candle, turning drops of wax into a fluid form of a woman. She flows like a summer breeze in a soft, white, sheer gown towards the trapped man. He is encased in a solid square block unable to move. The image of a bird covers the stoic man’s heart and eventually pulls loose and flies away to look for love leaving a hole in the man’s chest. The fluid flame of the woman is drawn to the cold stone man. She finds her place in his heart and she sets him free.

This scene has many layers, the love between a man and woman, their differences and how they complete each other; it could also easily have a spiritual implication of God’s love and man’s stony heart. It shows that love has no boundaries. It can break down walls, and time can not destroy it. Love will continue it.

Walt Disney’s nephew Roy Edward Disney unearthed the dormant project in 1999, which was hid away in a vault. He decided to bring it to life and the short was completed in 2003.

Production began on this film in 1945, 58 years before its eventual completion. The storyboard by Disney studio artist John Hench and artist Salvador Dali worked for eight months in late 1945 and 1946. Disney ceased production on it because of financial concerns. The Disney Studios was plagued by many financial woes in the World War 11 era. Disney borrowed against his home to keep the studio alive. Destino was not deemed financially viable and it was put on indefinite hiatus.

The project was collaborated by American animator Walt Disney, Spanish painter surrealist Salvador Dali and it features music written by Mexican songwriter Armando Dominguez.

What an odd threesome to bring an exquisite piece of art to life: Disney and his animated childlike characters, Dali with his genius artistry, and Dominguez’s recognizable music in Disney films. The three found a way to bridge their art into a work that quietly explodes in one’s heart. Great things are seldom bright and flashy and intruding, but quiet and unassuming. Destino quietly unearths the treasure in the viewer’s heart by its genius quality.

Bill Desowitz wrote in 2003, “In a dreamlike universe, a man made of stone frees himself from his mooring to go after the woman carved in his heart. In this surreal dance of love, man and woman overcome the natural abyss between them,”

Dali’s signature time piece, the melting clock, is seen in Destino. Many stories come from this image. “Time unfolds you,” Downing writes, “We are God’s poetry knowing not the last sentence or phrase.”  Dali died before he saw the completion of his masterpiece unfold, not knowing the last sentence written.

“Present and past meet at the window and laugh with relief,” another line of Downing’s poem. When Roy Disney found this work, Destino, he brought the present and past together, and the window that stands between diminishes in the heart of the viewer. Does the world acknowledge this piece of art to be great? No. The world will walk past, but the heart knows its greatness.

The carved woman in the man’s heart completed him. The art and passion in our hearts will play its part to complete us also. Take heart, my dear artist and writer friends, do today what you carry in your heart and it will carry your destiny, the final sentence has not been written. We are still living our story.

The final brushstroke: “There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few that will catch your heart. Pursue them.” — Anonymous .

Reader’s comments

Dear Betty:

Great Article, “My Lane Too.”  My thoughts, “ Living  the Life.”  Everyone has a right and a left lane, but if there was not Betty Slade’s driving along the other side, my lane would get pretty boring.. Nothing to see. No one else’s view to enjoy! (Boring!) So just keep on driving my friend, you make my life’s journey a joyful ride. 

B. Lucero

Clovis, N.M .

Hi Betty:

This column says everything we all go through. All the back-seat drivers telling us what we should be doing, but never telling us what we have done. 

I think every artist, whether painter, sculptor or writer, has had this moment where what people say about what they do sometime only confuses the issue. Just stay on the road, whether in your own lane or mine, I’ll read it with great interest.

Lee Ables



Loved your article, it reminded me of my father’s ranch house that was our country home during the summer and on weekends.  Dad used my mother’s china serving bowls to collect his change, bullets, and balm.   However, the wonderful memories of the entrance to the porch, his .22 rifle against the corner of the room, horse shoes, rasps, chain saws, wood and everything in between.    Mother would take on the task of putting it in her order when she got there.  And upon our return my dad began slowly making everything make sense for him.   Somehow his art was having the most beautiful big red flowering cactus plants when the snow was on the sill.  For that matter, after he passed, his was the garden of friends, relatives and guests in his life, who left his influence in their lives. What I would give to see his quarters, dimes and nickels in Mother’s China or his trinkets in the kitchen window. The house was arsoned three years before he died, so the trinkets, the china and the coins are gone.  He said of that act, “If they would only have known how much work it took to build it, they would have never done that”. He was 87 when he died. Thanks again for reminding me.  Loved your story! With kind regards,


Santa Fe, N.M.

Dear Betty:

Calling artist to earth, Poor Dad, leave the old dog alone. He won’t learn any new tricks, try as you may. He is content with the soft leathery chair and his toys, it could be worse.

Stephen Slade

Artist’s quote

“Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside them was superior to circumstance.” — Bruce Barton.