You know the saying, “once you go black, you’ll never go back….” Well, it’s not true. Black has been my go-to wardrobe color for, I don’t know, YEARS and we are officially breaking up this week. And we are never ever ever ever ever ever ever getting back together.
If only that most-comfy sweatshirt could be navy, or grayish purple, or dusty rose. Then I’d be able to wear it around other people or see myself in a mirror walking through my living room or rounding the corner on the stairs or going to use the toilet.
I have that many mirrors because I like myself and because they reflect light, and well, my house is small. And because my mother’s efforts to shame me for wanting to be pretty have been ineffectual. Finally.
You see, my life has been altered yet again, this time by Carol Tuttle and her Dressing Your Truth System. Add this to the in-depth survey of Major Psychological Theories I’m now studying, watching, and practicing, then writing, reflecting & applying to my life experience all while trying to decide which two or three to date seriously before I marry them as a practitioner, and hey, why NOT add another system to better help me achieve self-actualization!?
That is, after all, the path I’m on: cramming self-actualization into 5 semesters or less.
Today’s rude awakening brought to us by Carol Tuttle: BLACK is NOT beautiful on me. Ensconced in it, I look like death. Pale. Sickly. A walking tomb. It’s too still. Too rigid. Too solid. Much too yang for me. Too heavy, a shroud covering my life, restricting my feminine, damming my waters.
So like my mother, come to think of it.
I need these “little” beauty and self-acceptance revelations as much as I need to see how Piaget‘s Cognitive Development Theory, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love, and Erik Erikson‘s Developmental Theory apply to my 85 year-old father.
I’m doing that assignment. Right now. Simultaneously. This instant. I must unravel the ultra-personal and write down, once and for all, the ways I understand my father. In my mind, I cite sources for the factual claims I make interpreting his life. They tally into an elegant list on one side of my brain. The other fills with content and story, the sound of his voice, his soft, whiskered cheek on mine.
This is no project you whip out in two weeks time. Or two days. Or two hours before the paper is due. And so, I have been living with it. Inhaling it, outlining it. Eating it for breakfast and rereading theories. Letting our interview run while I sleep, then, upon waking, transcribing into words our voices, our laughter, my girlish giggle, his aged, hearty wheezes that scatter like beads of mercury instead of sinking in where I can catch and read them.
Still, there is a deadline and I must secure the mercury or lie trying.
So, naturally, I revamp my clothing. I read all Carol Tuttle’s material. I study the four elements and their energy movements. I collect details. I recognize myself finally. I align myself with water. I let a bit of air bubble in for balance. I decide it is finally safe to be as fully female as I was made to be. I see it was my mother’s fear and not my father’s imposition that trapped me previously. I see it more clearly than I ever believed it before.
I tear all the black from my closet, hang half of it elsewhere just in case, fold and box half of it for Goodwill. I take 8 all-wrong-for-me items of clothing purchased in the last 90 days back to Target and Sam’s Club without receipts. Without store tags.
I buy a belt, one t-shirt, and a gorgeous, soft purple scarf, bring them home and load three hangers staggering across my empty closet’s space.
I buy groceries for the first time in weeks and eat premenstrual amounts of smooth and dark chocolate. I eat carbohydrates for breakfast, for lunch and dinner. I am full and fat, bloated, hyper-aware of my curves while I practice yoga, lifting rib cage, tucking tailbone, finding bondis. Then, after effort, I am beautiful in shavasana, separate from both my parents, from their voices and versions of history together, their coming apart. I am void of all thought save the path of my breath.
As I wiggle awake, the first cognition is how ironic that under my soft, heather-grey tee, I’m held tight, shoulder to ankle, by BLACK at this moment of death.
I see myself wearing taupe or brown or deep purple to funerals some year far in the future. I pray citations and claims spring into my writing near-effortlessly when I sit later at the computer wearing muted tones, allowing my hair to spring into its natural curl.
It’s in that quiet moment of first rousing from death that I resolve to box the rest of the black, buy colored yoga pants, and yes, to face the empty page and never go back.
It could happen again, I’m sure. I’m leaving room for the possibility I could regain the fire, but, truth is, I don’t care very much about cooking right now.
It’s not just that I have no one but myself to feed, because, believe me, I can get kinda inspired about feeding myself sometimes.
For instance, I still like my food to LOOK wonderful. I eat with my eyes first, just like the rest of the passionate people on Planet Earth. We know what matters: eyes first, palette next, the sensual, tactile experience of handling and tasting, then satiety and overall quality of fuel. Nothing like being HUNGRY and then DINING.
I still get it.
It’s just the reasons I had for cooking no longer exist. I have no partner to please. No children to keep fed. No athlete sons to beef up. No friends I’m striving to impress. I could care less about impressing anyone. Certainly not with my cooking skills.
My ego’s not invested anymore.
And that’s a good thing. A really good thing.
I went to a friend’s house last night after hiking with The Club and, sipping a glass of wine, watched him cook. He’s a professional. Literally. Head chef. I let him demonstrate slicing melon and pineapple from rind to regal in a slick sling of the knife, spreading thin treasures in a jewel-like butterfly arrangement. I was duly impressed. It was pretty. I watched him stir the omelette in the cast iron pan, finishing it perfectly, folding by the force of gravity and a wrist-flick. I nodded appreciatively as if I had never done such a thing myself.
He has no idea the carrot cake I would have baked for my own birthday is more decadent, flavorful, and chock-full of real carrots and cream cheese smoothness than any other on the planet. I’m not going to tell him. He has no idea I took pictures of highly styled fine food and got paid for it. Nor that I used to create and photograph food right here for this blog, letting the world peek at the recipes and techniques I was drumming. He has no idea I’m considered a very good cook in my tiny inner circle. That my family was well-fed, that my former spouse reveled in pleasure eating at my table, that my children were bolstered in health, vitality, and strength because of the nourishment at my loving hands.
I share this to make a point.
I noticed that while he was showing off I had absolutely no interest in doing the same. Truth is, I just don’t care. It’s not the point. I have no need for it. I see no need to inform him or anyone else for that matter.
I’m also EFFECTIVELY, not obsessed about food or body-image.
I honestly don’t even really think about the next food I’m going to consume until I’m hungry. I remember way-back-when hearing people say that and thinking, “Weird. Wonder what that’s like?”
Okay. Sometimes I plan meals and snacks so I know I’ll make my newly diminished Starving Student Budget. But I really don’t think about food. Other than how to stretch it and prepare it in the most healthful, flavorful, nutritious, calorie-perfect way for my budget and body. I do think about it like that.
And just in case you suspect I might be dissociative, vacating the mind-body experience entirely, let me assure you I feel good, stretched-out, relaxed, even comfy in my skin. Dang, this is a good body to live in. It’s not dead yet! And while I could continue to obsess about how it’s not yet the ideal vision I have in my conceptual mind’s eye, I’m much more interested in what my body can do than what it looks like. It’s almost weird for me.
I knew it was coming because I imagined it first. This is the change I wanted. The freedom I believed I’d see someday. The ease in accepting what is. Breathing in and tasting the wonder of life apart from the provision of dinner. And sex.
You know, I had an inkling there was much more to life. I suspected. It was a just a hunch. Yepper.
Know what else? Sometimes it’s all kinds of fun to be right in ways you never fully fathomed. For one thing, it’s helped me reach this conclusion: life is better than our wildest imaginings. If we will just let it be.
Here’s the thing about rebuilding your life from the ground up: you get to choose. That’s true always, but it feels especially true when intentionally creating a life from scratch.
Some of you know I recently moved everything I own 900 miles away from the state I’ve spent my entire life in. I’ve loved Minnesota; every place I’ve lived has been full of natural beauty. That was no accident. Okay. Truth is, I left my downhill ski equipment there and my snow shoes. I hear the skiing sucks in Ohio, that there’s not much call for snow shoes. I do mean to use them again. In Minnesota. And Colorado. Maybe Montana. That’d be fun. (I digress already!)
All the goods I’m responsible for in the world are housed with me in a charming, albeit cozy (read pretty darn tiny) two-bedroom townhouse in historic Mariemont village proper, just east of Cincinnati. Cute as a bug’s ear with fireplace and, surprisingly, central air though the place is older than swing music. I’m not even using all the available storage or closet space! I can’t tell you how wildly freeing that feels.
Here’s the other thing about rebuilding your life and making all those choices intentionally. You are responsible. One hundred percent. Also, always true, but feels especially true when you see it in action.
Fun thing about all this creating from scratch, it’s not, of course, actually from scratch. It’s just a new beginning with more knowledge, insight, and chutzpah. Since we do it anyway, not even trying, by the choices we make and avoid making, I might as well try for everything I want, everything that truly matters to me, right? So, on purpose, I’m building the life I want. It’s freakin amazing, people.
Five weeks I’ve been here. Long enough to get moved in (the first three days) and then stumble around the city half-lost, trying all at once to stay present in my reality, live in the moment, experience what is. Yeah. I did all that and slept twelve hours straight the first Saturday after classes thinking my “permission to sleep in” would last until, maybe the insanely late hour of nine a.m. It was the butt-crack of noon!
This week, four weeks later, I’ve been in the groove of grad classes long enough NOT to stress about the Thursday paper due by 4:15 I’ve been sending in around 2:00 each week. I actually showed up to my last class of the night without having read my chapter. At all. And it didn’t cause anxiety.
Transition back to being a student? Check!
Next task: find some good friends. Of course, I was on that weeks ago. Even before I had my nihilistic “I’m all alone in the Universe” Existential Crisis, thinking “what are we doing here, Harley? Where are all those people I love? What if I die here all alone?”
It actually happened. My moment of fearful, irrational panic frozen on the crisp edge of, not just loneliness, but i-so-la-tion!
It was quite the thing.
I even said, out loud, “Life is such a burden.”
Then I heard myself. I don’t talk like that. I don’t think that. I don’t feel like that. Holy Corolla. I’m always saying “Life is good. And man, life is beautiful! Dang, life is goooooood!”
It was just a moment of fear overriding faith. That’s all. No big deal. Simple like that. Thankfully, hearing myself shook something loose inside me enough to identify what was going on and choose differently. I choose faith. I choose trust.
I’m no expert on the Law of Attraction. I know books have been written about it. I know it’s a whole big deal. Someone else could explain it much better, I’m sure, so I won’t try to here. I’m no expert on lots of Spiritual Laws that are Laws because they function that way in real life. I’m no expert on gravity, but I’ve felt its effects. (Don’t talk
to the girls. They’re not available for comment, God bless ‘em.)
But I will tell you this. Soon after, I clarified what kind of friends I really want. It might even seem like a tall order, like a strange mix of qualities. (I’m aware I’m also listing everything I value and want to BE. That truth has not escaped me, thank you very much.) I began listing: athletic and artistic, I said. Intellectuals and musicians. Compassionate and spiritual. Professionals who know how to play. Available. Loyal. Dependable. I said it out loud. I wrote it down.
Around the same time, I identified my need to find beautiful places to hike and camp, two things that have always functioned to keep me grounded and in touch with God and my own spirit.
You know how the rest of this goes, don’t you? Found a gorgeous place to hike via a Hiking Club online. Met some beautiful people who also play tennis and are some combination of all of the above. Most importantly, they are available, and built to be loyal, dependable. Will get together tomorrow for more tennis, board games (yes, I found nerd-brains who like that kind of thing) and a bonfire! Guess what else?
We’re going on a camping and hiking trip in three weeks.
And that, dear people, seems to be how this building one’s life from scratch kinda goes.
Find some good friends? Check!
Next up: a job. I’m working on getting very clear about just what it is I want and need. After all, I get to choose.
It’s late here in Eastern Time. I should be sleeping. Even so, it’s hard to unwind after six hours of grad classes plus getting lost on the way there and the way home, a normal part of my routine driving in Cincinnati. It adds about thirty minutes to the commute. I’ve accepted it now.
Every time I’ve ventured into the city I’ve been turned around at least a little. And no, I don’t know how to use my GPS. I rely on maps and the internet app in 4G that moves me along as a blue dot surrounded by a halo. Sometimes I think I understand it. Do I have to admit I’m directionally challenged?
For some reason, I accept it instead of fighting it. What am I going to do, anyway? I went north instead of south on 71 and north will get me a whole lot of places besides Xavier University. Lebanon is not the direction you want. Turn around now. There’s no question. Blue Ash and Montgomery are so far north, getting off there is premature. Stay on 71 going south some more. This much I learned.
Also, I learned I still love Paul Simon, love knowing every word of the poetry that still, (is it twenty years later?) has me bouncing into Graceland. I’ve reason to believe we all will be received in Graceland. I had time to hear the entire CD. My traveling companion is nine years old; he is the child of my first marriage… She comes back to tell me she’s gone. As if I didn’t know that. As if I didn’t know my own bed. As if I never noticed the way she brushes her hair from her forehead.
All these intimacies.
So intricate. So beautiful. So stunning.
And I could say losing love is like a window in your heart. Everybody sees you’re blown apart. Everybody feels the wind blow.
There’s no use trying to masquerade anymore. Everybody sees. As if I didn’t know that. As if I didn’t know my own bed. As if I didn’t feel its vacancy sleeping in the middle, fully unclothed, wrapped in duvet, in pillows, in hope. I can’t avoid it. Every single night.
But anything else is unfamiliar too.
It’s not strange to be in this unfamiliar place doing this thing. I read my homework and I’m assured again and again, I’m doing the right thing. I go to class and I’m transported and I know. Solid. Inexplicably in the precise right place doing the thing I need to be doing right now right here.
Even hauling Harley out with my bike and careening around runners and walkers who gawk at the apparently unfamiliar sight of a dog running alongside a bike, I am in my shining element. I’m soaring. I’m proud of my dog and of all I’ve ever done and of my beautiful children noone can see here except in their art on my walls and life is glorious and good, free and full of splendor, the huge maple leaves just falling, barely brown, still lush, moist, just slightly kickable on the walk. Autumn is coming here to Mariemont, to the historic village I’ve chosen to call my home. I can smell its edge in the morning chill and then it lingers like a promise through the heat of the day.
I’m exactly where I need to be. It’s not strange.
This is the right time. This is the right place.
And people have begun their dance into my life, me into theirs, though tentatively. And these are the right people, though I can only see them dimly now. Who to love? And how to love them all?
I’m accepting the breeze now. The fact I”m going to be immeasurably late for class to a session my academic adviser teaches. The sunshine. The forty miles an hour thumping behind streams of rush hour commuters leaving the heart of the city I’m trying to cross. There’s not a damn thing to be done about it anyway, so it will be what it is and I will get there when I get there. No use resisting and no reason to cry or well up in frustrated angst against something intangible.
I will get there.
She’s a rich girl. She don’t try to hide it. Diamonds on the soles of her shoes. He’s a poor boy. Empty as a pocket. Empty as a pocket and nothing to lose. Sing te na na, te na na na. She’s got diamonds on the soles of her shoes. Diamonds on the soles of her shoes.
Diamonds on the soles of my shoes.
I’ve got diamonds on the soles of my shoes.
My feet are alive with them and everywhere I walk is brand new. No wonder it takes me so long to get there.
It’s seven days including today before I climb into that 17-foot U-haul cab, force my dog to stay under the seat belt, (yeah, right) and drive nearly 900 miles to my new home.
I’ve been whittling the stack, back to the realm of acceptable stuff capacity. (Everyone knows I have a stuff quota and, when blasted past it, I feel sluggish and fat, lethargic, and, well, just stressed.)
I’m not made to let the stuff of life occupy that much of my psyche. I’m here for the ethereal stuff, the intellectual property, the exchange of mystery between hearts and lives. I’m here for the experience. For Beauty. For Truth. Clean. Breeze. Flow. You get my drift. Spare, high-impact wonder.
I’m here for the words.
Ironic and fitting I should deem it so necessary to cull my two filing cabinets before I make someone else load and unload them. Lightening that load is internal only. I’ll still have two filing cabinets. I’ll still have someone else take them up the stairs to my new second bedroom office. They’ll be lighter to people who won’t know the difference.
But I will know. Believe me. I know already as I haul to the bonfire-pit the bags of papers that ignite and light up the sky, flare and then dwindle to ash over the rusted tire rim Pat was good enough to bring me two years ago when I moved merely across town. Fire cleanses, no doubt you’ve heard.
And there have been tears. Good ones. And deep ones.
Rib-aching wrenching, and the soft, steady, peaceful stream easily ignored and brushed away.
It’s all good. And very necessary.
My conclusion: write letters. On paper. Write letters; don’t sign greeting cards.
Write them to your parents, your children, your lovers, friends, friends you hope will be lovers, to people you spend time working with side-by-side every single day, to your God-parents and most of all, to your siblings. Write pages and pages. Fold them neatly, seal them with wax and the DNA of your saliva. Mail them.
Handcraft your greeting cards if you must send them. Adorn them with your own artwork, your evenly-spaced all-cap letters declaring your friendship, love, and admiration. Make up your own rhymes and sign them loosely and lovingly.
Send hand-written copies of poems you crafted over beers at the Redmen Club in St. Peter, Minnesota when you were twenty-two. Send drafts of the poem you wrote for your grandma and read aloud at her Memorial and at the Family Reunion 5 years earlier when she could still dance. Send postcards with pictures of manuscripts from London where you went to study for J-term and share nearly nothing in text but love and a thought and the remembrance of a wordless relationship based on mutual love of spare prose. And Beauty. Sign just your first name. She’ll remember.
Write to your children. Report from Africa. Describe the sky. The sand. The laughing hyenas howling at night. Talk about business your daughter can only imagine. Be wordy, superfluous, roll the text in the deteriorating scrawl of withering old age. Keep writing. Even when your text gets shaky. Write until there are no more words.
Write to your sister and ask her to buy you a bike. If she writes back and says yes and you write back and say “thank you, I love you” your mother may confiscate it and save it forever.
Write to your mother from Afghanistan, long, luscious, heartfelt ramblings thick with the heat of sand and isolation, full of the details of work you are building and things you dream of doing when you come home. She will stack them as neatly as your even, measured printing and file them under your very name. She will keep them forever.
When you are a famous, old, Minnesota author, send that very sexy love poem to the twenty-something student editor. She won’t throw it away. It’s poetry, after all. And some day, it won’t be weird. One day-when she is old enough to realize all of us are younger than we think and what we think is much younger than our bodies- she’ll get it. She’ll wish she’d found words to express then all that went on between the two of you, both good and bad. She’ll wish she could thank you for the poem.
Especially, write to your sister. Tell her everything you are thinking and how hard it is to understand the dynamics with that woman who drums in the band. Send drafts of the songs you are writing. Talk about Mom and Dad. Talk about your lover and the hike you took last weekend and the ache in your heart over causing her pain.
Write it down so your sister can read your words even if she cannot hear your voice because you left too early to see her make a brave and wonderful leap from all that’s familiar into a new, vibrant life. It will be some comfort to her even if it makes her wish she had written more words of her own to you and more often. It will be some comfort even though she really wants to be able to tell you how right you were about this and that. It will hurt. But it will be some comfort.
These are the most beautiful things on the planet, the kind of paper worth hauling around in file cabinets until kingdom come. Forget all the other scrappy crap: copies of copious financial and business transactions; financial projections; budget breakdowns; plans for self-improvement, hair growth and weight loss; holiday planning, family planning, and wardrobe revamp. You won’t need any of that bullshit. Throw it all away.
But save the words tumbling piecemeal over decades of a life that, reread at just the right time, will become the measure of that life, the delineation of identity. Worth reading.
Write it down. And mail it.
When my mother dies, she will leave copious amounts of worldly goods for the remaining ten of us children to wade through. It’s a task I dread even before multiplying it by the weight of loss. Talking about it might seem macabre while it’s yet a hopefully distant reality, but in my defense, she brought it up, apologizing before leaving for Ireland that, should she die abroad, she was leaving a mess. I said, “don’t die then, please.”
She’s safe on her own soil again today. I spoke with her at length on the drive home from work.
In other news, one of my staff marries one of my former students tomorrow and they begin a life joined in every possible sense structured society allows here on earth and in America. I spent about five minutes talking with her father this afternoon, who will cry at some point, (he promised and I counted it as a good and inevitable thing) and could not be more satisfied with his daughter’s choice of mates. Mind you, she’s a stellar girl, worthy of the best of men. Knowing both bride and groom, I’m the millioneth person to utter how well-matched they are, how such a propitious coupling will bless all they come in contact with, how such a settled pairing will free them up for all sorts of Good and Adventure. Her father agreed.
I’m moving. Nearly nine hundred miles from here. To the lovely, rolling river town of Cincinnati, a place not even on my radar last January when I began again in earnest the search for a school program to move me from this to that, congealing a career change I’ve romanticized, no doubt, yet know is my next mission. But that’s my tendency. To Romanticize. Everything. And losing everything known all at once has a tremendous effect of bringing into vivid brilliance all there is of one’s life to love and hate and miss and imagine missing. Simultaneously. For instance:
There’s nothing to compare to a summer sunset over Gull Lake viewed from the deck. You can smell rain gathering miles in the distance as it beckons marine co-mingling. The two forms of H2O seem to magnetically call one another across the atmosphere and if you listen hard enough, you can hear it. Long before it rumbles into splash.
I love autumn here, it’s quick, crisp rustle of leaves marching everywhere, trampled into a brown, grey mulch. I hear it waxes just as beautiful but lasts longer and burns hotter in Cincy. I’ll miss its flash and brevity…all the more precious for it, like cherry blossoms in Japan. The briefest pleasures invite the deepest dregs.
And yes, I will miss Minnesota Winter of all things. Multiple feet of snow and the harsh chill of extended below zero weeks, the thrill of breathing in a searing sting to nostrils and throat. I know I’ll want it sometime in January, pine for it mournfully and laugh at myself. Foolish, Romantic Girl. Northerner.
The best thing about moving: the Purge. I thought I had done this six years ago. Again two years ago. But no, this is a paring to the bone. In relationships. In stuff. In endeavors and identity. Essentially, what matters to me? Am I willing to haul it the distance? Is it either very necessary or very beautiful?
Amazing how little remains.
I just get lighter and lighter until it seems near-unbearably ecstatic.
Then something enters to ground me firmly right here, right now. Right here in Reality.
Papers to sort. Files I can’t just recycle en masse. Photos I’m finally peeling off the foam board display that lined the garage walls of BoyWonder’s graduation party more than two years ago. Photos of young men in Cincinnati playing soccer, their parents watching and caring, volunteering,cheering, chiding, coaxing their wild growth.
Suddenly, I’m grounded in the reality life is the same all over. And everywhere you go, it’s still good. People are not that different the world over, much less nine hundred miles over. The space they keep between themselves is more in their own heads and hearts than in any structure of reality or confines of space or stricture of movement.
I spoke briefly with my new landlord, who awaits my arrival, greets me cheerfully, assures me that, although he will be out of town when I arrive, his son can aid me, should anything arise. I tell him I’m excited for the move, that everyday is just plum full with things to do. And he laughs. “Sounds just like life, Beth,” he says.
Isn’t it? Isn’t it just. Full. Just plum full. Death and marriage and the weight of things, of words, and pictures and the beginnings and end of things happening right now.
So very necessary. So very beautiful.
If you read my last post, you got a taste of the adventure of seeing Cindy Sherman‘s exhibit on Valentine’s Day with my brother at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. In case you didn’t get the general drift of my impression and experience: loved. I’d post photos of her photos but none were allowed and while I did carry my camera, I’ve lost some of my rebellious nature. Growth happens!
Earlier that day, driving on Lake Street, we passed Lake Calhoun, her trees lined in hoar-frost. Mark moaned about not having a camera. Mine was in the back seat, so I gave it to him while I drove. We stopped and of course I couldn’t keep my hands off my equipment, framing a shot that hides the barriers, other vehicles, the haphazardly stacked plastic canoes. But that’s how art does, isn’t it? Shows us what to see, what to pay attention to while we ignore the rest. Limits the vision while inviting it to come alive. Isolates the beautiful, the message, narrows the vision while expanding it. You get all the juxtapositions, the oxymorons, the paradoxical utterances, right? That too is how art does.
After the experience of meeting all the characters Cindy Sherman dresses up as, we ventured into other galleries at the Walker. Modern Art begs staring, inquiries, placards of words to frame up the experience. I don’t think I could do without the words, frankly. Although the art DOES, it IS on its own too. And then language shakes all of it up in a Ziploc bag of reassemblage. ( I think I made that word up.)
Know what amuses me most, though? Watching other people encountering art.
I survived Hurricane Sandy in Manhattan. Wednesday after, MOMA opened and we survivors flocked to the museum in droves. “I wish these people would go away!” my friend said. But they were as much, if not more, a part of the Beauty for me that day.
I watch people taking in art. I listen to them interact with the art and with each other. Eavesdropping like you read about in the last post. Seeing people viewing art begs capture with a 1/80 shutter. Their forms and expression and beauty become bigger than those canvasses on the wall. Perhaps it’s because I’m of the mind a thing doesn’t become art without an audience. Yeah, I’m one of those.
Too many bodies for balance? Perhaps.
And that’s the trick of it, the impulse of photography, the instinct at work, the speed of the eye/hand coordination. It’s the transfer from experiencing something beautiful, seeing it, and being able to capture it. The same is true of other mediums, I think. Not everyone can do it, I’ve discovered after all these years. I certainly don’t always get it, but I keep trying.
Admittedly I grew a little impatient people wouldn’t stand still for my preconceived idea of how this might look.
Then I turned the focus to a side viewing room where in a stunning moment of perfect timing, textures, and lighting I found this little gem, the flat eggshell walls framing a separate adventure. I caught my breath at the discovery, clicking instinctively.
Now that I like. It says Art-Viewing in Minnesota on a windy Valentine’s Evening. Pensive. Thoughtful. Tired but not Beaten. I imagine no mate warming the heart; the contemplation of plenty of fish. (Or might that be mere projection? Who knows?)
The addition of my words scrambled what started taking shape for you, didn’t it?
And that’s how art does too.
Recently I’ve attended two sporting events without my camera. For the first time in five years. One of those games was the Timberwolves match against the Utah Jazz. We had second row seats just off center court and I had no camera. Try to imagine my agony. Just try. I came unprepared!
After the first quarter, I settled my unease and experienced the game without the impetus of seeing and making art. I just enjoyed the what is. It’s a strange and palpable change, believe me. Painful at first, then worth every impermanent breath. And a change worth experiencing from time to time, just to see things in a new light.