Monday, August 4, 2008

Pick Up the Pieces

. . . in the immortal words of the title of that one song by the Average White Band.

A bit of my soul is in Marsden Hartley's Black Duck.

When I am in a new place, the first thing I want to do is find a museum. It's a compelling impulse, but I've only ever followed its demand without attaching any meaning. I don't attempt any interpretation--which makes some kind of sense to me. I mean, we don't wonder why we're hungry for breakfast; I don't wonder why I need to find art to look at.

Nor do I generally examine the why when I have a deep response to art, that sense of recognition and knowing and even fulfillment. Sometimes joy. But how can one get all that simply from viewing an image?

Thomas Moore offers this answer:
When I find myself in a city, for a lecture or other business, and have a free hour, I always try to visit an art museum or gallery. I do this not only because I'm interested in art, but because I work with the soul and I live a human life; I have a family and I get sick and I have thoughts of mortality. I visit a museum to find myself. On the prowl for art, I'm like the Egyptian Isis, who sought all over the world for the pieces of her dismembered brother and husband, Osiris.

A piece of my soul might be encased in a gallery in Seattle, or Rome, or Brussels. In fact, I have found lost portions of my soul in these very places. I remember walking up a curving stairway in the magnificent art museum in Brussels and discovering a great piece of my identity in the twelfth-century stone reliefs I saw there. . . .
This is from The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life. I highly recommend the chapters on dreams, archetypes, and of course, art.

(Another bit of my soul is tucked away somewhere in Liza Lou's Kitchen.)

1 comment:

Nancy Ewart said...

Lovely post and I WANT that kitchen. What a great image.