Friday, August 24, 2012

i am haunted by waters

Morning, peeps! 
So, here's the Thing about art--about good art:
(I know you wake up every Friday morning wondering: what is good art? I know I do.)
Good art isn't supposed to hammer a message into your head, or necessarily change your entire perspective on life, the universe, and everything. 
Good art makes you care about a story. It makes you care about something--or someone-- you never cared about before.

Exhibit A: Tulips. 
I never cared about tulips until I performed in a play that wasn't even about tulips; but tulips meant the world to the protagonist, and were a motif throughout the play, highlighting her longing for beauty. 
And now I love tulips and I want to go to Holland and see the carpets of tulips in the spring.

Not your grandmother's tulip garden
Look at that. That's a world of beauty I never would have known about or cared about if a piece of art hadn't revealed how beautiful it was.

Along the same vein, I really didn't care about surfing. 
I mean, seriously. Surfing? 
Surfing draws up images of beach bums who are only capable of forming sentences heavily punctuated by "gnarly" and "dude", and shark attacks. If there was one thing I really had no feelings about it, it was surfing.

And then last summer my little sister (Sassy Free Spirit), made me take her to this movie.

Watch the clip. Ignore cheesy storyline, mediocre acting, everything. Ignore everything except the beautiful tunnel shots of an unimaginably powerful wall of ocean curling over a small girl on a small piece of fiberglass.

I was rendered speechless. I could have sat there for hours watching human beings skim through waves. Those are people gliding through waves. 
Through waves

Sassy Free Spirit wants me to move to Hawaii so she can come live with me and we can surf all the time. If I ever was able to glide through a tunnel of water like that, I would die of joy.

And if there's one thing I really actively incredibly apathetic about, it was:
I mean, really.
The art of fly-fishing? The art of what? The art of catching pneumonia by prolonged exposure to freezing river water, in a hopeless endeavor of waiting for the fish to bite.

Then I read A River Runs Through It, (recommended by Fr. Drew) which is one of those movies/stories everyone knows about, even if you don't know it. But the passages that tugged the most at my heart were the passages about fly-fishing. Maclean describes the beauty and grace, the precision of motion, the elegance and the complexity of a fisherman's thought, and rhythm: "Only by picking up God's rhythms were we able to regain power and beauty." The most powerful passages were those that described the rhythm of nature and humanity that meet in fly-fishing. Fly-fishing: the art of a human being attempting to think like a fish, to see the world around him like a fish, and then outsmart the fish. Fly-fishing: the art of laying bare "the anatomy of a river." Fly-fishing: the art of the motion and skill of man encountering the power of nature. A very beautiful art indeed.

"We can love completely what we cannot completely understand."--Norman Maclean
Good art. Amiright?

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