Now I Know How Joan of Arc Felt by Anna Dorfman

Maid of Orléans

“If I believed that the thing I have dreamed about her would come to pass, I would want you to drown her..."

When I was thirteen, I had a voice from God to help me to govern myself. The first time, I was terrified. The voice came to me about noon: it was summer, and I was in my father’s garden. I had not fasted the day before. I heard the voice on my right hand, towards the church. There was a great light all about.

I vowed then to keep my virginity for as long as it should please God.

I saw it many times before I knew it was Saint Michael. Afterwards he taught me and showed me such things that I knew that it was he.

He was not alone, but duly attended by heavenly angels. I saw them with the eyes of my body as well as I see you. And when they left me, I wept, and I wished that they might have taken me with them. And I kissed the ground where they had stood, to do them reverence.

Above all, Saint Michael told me that I must be a good child, and that God would help me. He taught me to behave rightly and to often go to church. He said that I would have to go into France.

He told me Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret would come to me, and I must follow their counsel; that they were appointed to guide and counsel me in what I had to do, and that I must believe what they would tell me, for it was at our Lord’s command.

He told me the pitiful state of the Kingdom of France. And he told me that I must go to succor the King of France.

Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret had rich crowns on their heads. They spoke well and fairly, and their voices are beautiful–sweet and soft.

The name by which they often named he was Jehanne the Maid, child of God.

Joan of Arc

They told me that my king would be restored to his Kingdom, despite his enemies. They promised to lead me to Paradise, for that was what I asked of them.

Twice and thrice a week the voice told me that I must depart and go into France.

And the voice said that I would raise the siege before Orléans. And it told me to go to Vaucouleurs, to Robert de Baudricourt, captain of the town, who would give me men to go with me.

And I answered the voice that I was a poor girl who knew nothing of riding and warfare.

From the time that I knew I must go to France, I gave myself little to games and frolics–as little as I could.

I did not talk of my visions–not that my voices told me to hide them but I was afraid to let them be know, for dread of the Burgundians and that they would prevent me from starting on my journey. And, even more, I feared that my father would prevent me.

My mother had told me that my father often dreamed that I would run away with a band of soldiers. That was more than two years after I first heard the voices. She told me that he had said to my brothers, “If I believed that the thing I have dreamed about her would come to pass, I would want you to drown her; and if you would not, I would drown her myself.” On account of these dreams, my father and mother watched me closely and kept me in great subjection. And I was obedient in everything.

But since God had commanded me to go, I must do it. And since God had commanded it, had I a hundred fathers and a hundred mothers, and had I been a king’s daughter, I would have gone.

It pleased God thus to act through a simple maid in order to turn back the King’s enemies.

I went to my uncle and told him that I would visit him for a time. I was in his house for about a week; then I told him that I must got to Vaucouleurs. And my uncle took me there.

~Translation by Willard Trask


Dream of the Drawing for Everything alchemies dream-like things: images and texts and films and sketches and philosophy and half-thoughts and visions and moments and fragments of all kinds. Resting and exploring here may deepen your relationship with the oneiric and, therefore, all apparent reality. Resting and exploring here may augment your psyche’s healing tendency—as Jung called it—through highlighting and delighting in humanity’s hallucinatory creations. (Without them, after all, neurologists assure us we would go starkers.) It is time there was a potentially infinite, intimate museum to what cannot be seen. Welcome to the museum.

Dream of the Drawing for Everything is some of the collaboration between artist Nuala Clarke & writer Crystal Gandrud. Our work arises out of what dances on the edges of perception and our collective attention gravitates to the dream-like nature of human experience. We have been in collaboration since 2010. Our merged practices of visual and textual art unfold on a continuum, as part of an interconnected series evolving over time. Both performed “Fair Shouldered One” (a book which is not a book) at the &Now Literary Festival in Paris, 2012 and installed “Between Spaces”, a Yeats inspired dreamscape at the Hamilton Gallery, Sligo, 2013. Most recently participated in the Find Arts Project in Castlebar, Ireland. Our public art installation of words and images printed on linen, “Woven Found”, hung on Castle Street. The project won the best commissioning practice award from Allianz Business to Arts, 2014.

Nuala Clarke

Nuala Clarke, visual artist, lives and works between Co. Mayo and New York City. Educated at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, she moved to New York City in 1993. In September 2007, she received a fellowship to the Ballinglen Arts Foundation, Mayo and began returning to Ireland from NY to work every year. Clarke has been represented by Boltax Gallery, NY since 2005. Recent shows include, Amid a Space Between: Irish Artists in America at the SFMoMa Artists Gallery, San Francisco, (2012); to Tremble into Stillness, a WB Yeats related show at Hamilton Gallery, Sligo; RHA invited artist; and A drawing for Everything, Ballinglen Arts Foundation (2013). BLINK, a public art installation at the Westport Arts Festival, Co. Mayo (2014). Upcoming shows (2015): Impressions of Yeats, Hamilton Gallery, Sligo; Of this place, Sligo and Madrid.

Crystal Gandrud

Crystal Gandrud, writer, lives in New York City and Normandy, France. She holds an MFA, Creative Writing and a BFA, Classical Theatre. Recent publications include “Yeatsian: Numberless Dreamers,” The Encyclopedia Project, 2014, “Here,” Lost Magazine, and “Idiom: Woodbird Flies Early,” The Encyclopedia Project. Her dissertation, “Murdoch: the Mandala Maker,” was presented at Kingston University’s Iris Murdoch Conference (2006), London. At the most recent Murdoch Conference, she performed a multi-media excerpt from a work-in-progress entitled “The Forgotten Man,” inspired by Murdoch’s philosophical writings. She is under contract for a memoire entitled “Astonishment: A Litany of the Uncanny.”

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