It is part of life and has been the theme of the art here for a long time. Art is wiser than we are. It carries us to a place in our future and acquaints us with it if we pay attention. A blog I have been following for a number of years discusses nature, art, literature and movies in the same way you might have a conversation with a friend. Although I have never met Arti, she has opened my eyes to many things, most recently something I just cannot get out of my head. Wabi Sabi.
Wabi Sabi is a Japanese term for a kind of aesthetic, a way of being and seeing the world. Designer Leonard Koren described the aesthetic of Wabi Sabi as experiencing the “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”. Peeling paint, rust, an old window, in these things I have looked for beauty. They sit in various states of entropy, uncelebrated and lonely, as if at a certain point age becomes a meditation. And like the old trees that surround the building, time for them disconnects from our society’s frenetic consciousness and they become still like the moment we observe the quantum particle until we look away and release it back to where it assumes its place as all things, passing that moment to another point of stillness.
It is the one thing that is certain in this world. The last couple of years have brought a tsunami that has left destruction in its path, exposing it on retreat. Perhaps it has taken the broken things too, washing them away.
I have been struggling with the overwhelming changes that have rushed in because that wave was, perhaps, held back too long? And I kept thinking that somehow, I might not be altered. I have started many paintings and I have not finished one. I have laid in bed and let the inspired poem in my head fade, the energy to birth it unavailable to me. The last post on this blog was over three months ago.Too much has been imperfect, impermanent. Incomplete.
I must succumb to change and mourn what was lost, accept what must come, understand the truth my art has been preparing me for and allow it, too, to transform. To love the creation and allow it to bear the imperfect character of the lonely place that inspired it and in whatever form it comes. Because in it, lies the gift.
[I]t is so important to be lonely and attentive when one is sad: because the apparently uneventful and stark moment at which our future sets foot in us is much closer to life…
The more still, more patient and more open we are when we are sad, so much the deeper and so much the more unswervingly does the new go into us, so much the better do we make it ours, so much the more will it be our destiny…”
~ Rainer Marie Rilke (from Letters to a Young Poet trans. M.B.Herter Norton)
* The photograph of the church was taken in August 2013 at the lonely Route 66 ghost town of Cuervo, New Mexico