you must have fallen from the sky...

by Ellen

And I love her so
I wouldn't trade her for gold
Walking on moonbeams
I was born with a silver spoon

Hell I'm gonna be me
Gonna be free
Walking on moonbeams
And staring out to sea

And if a door be closed
Then a row of homes start building
And tear your curtains down
For sunlight is like gold

Hell you better be you
Do what you can do
Walking on moonbeams
And staring out to sea

'Cause if your skin was soil
How long do you think before they'd start digging
And if your life was gold
How long do you think you'd stay living

And I love her so
I wouldn't trade her for gold

Well, I watched Once again (for the 329578902nd time) last night, and it's safe to say it's still my favorite movie, and the above song is from the movie by an Irish band called Interference. It's my favorite part of the film (I feel like I should call it a "film". "Film" carries an entirely different connotation than "movie").

Anyway, I was thinking that I haven't yet written anything yet about my favorite subject in my oh-so-lovable "blog" as the kids like to say.

It's no secret that I love art. Every kind of art in every medium: paint, music notes, marble, drama, voices, crayon, colored pencil, mandolin, performance, faces, ballet shoes, musical theatre, jesus music, words, tempera on wood, upholstery, rugs, smells, my rain boots, clouds, sunsets, candles, the aforementioned "film", photos, digital whatever, fractals, flowers, shells, waves, t-shirts, black and white, environmental, conceptual, feminist, architecture, (and for those of you who have been to the loo in our house) toilet seats. I feel as if I could go on for hours....

Well, I like to think I can art. I don't excel in any of the media through which I have previously expressed myself: dance, the toilet seats, the woodshop, metal, and photos. I try really hard, and I'm really good at faking being good at these things, but in the grand scheme of things, I'm not really that fantastic. And it's OK, because I love that other people can be SO good at their art.

So I like to look. A really long time ago, there was this belief that the eyes were the window to the soul. Most people think that means that by looking in someone's eyes, you also peek into their soul...but really, it was originally to explain how art even exists. By looking at anything, whether or not you consider it "beautiful", just the actual looking does something inside of us. Filling us with a sense of wonder, ickiness, love, desire to touch, or just appreciation, the looking can affect us. I mean, really, no one sees a sunset from the hills on the Mediterranean Sea and says, "eh." Well, if you do, you have a heart of stone. It's impossible to hear "Single Ladies", and not be affected. Let's just face it. If any part of our body doesn't have a reaction, whether it be your hips or your eyes rolling, you have a heart of stone. Or you're a vegetable. In that case, you have a justified excuse.

I spent the last week here:

And Nana and I went to this museum (just like always):

And we saw things like this:

I haven't been around so much art since I graduated from college, where I was always surrounded by it, because it's what I studied. As soon as I walked in, I was overwhelmed...partly because this place is huge and the first pieces you see are these GIANT 20 ft paintings by Rubens, but also because I found a piece of myself there. As I walked through the galleries of French Renaissance, Mannerism, Italian Baroque, and Spanish Baroque, I picked up parts of me along the way, saying,  "Oh here you are, why have you been hiding? I have missed you." Well, not out loud, because Nana, even though she talks to herself sometimes, would have given me the stink eye she's spent 87 years getting so good at. She's small, but intimidating. 
It reminds me of the story in Luke where Jesus, Mary, and Joseph (oh, my!) are in Jerusalem, and Mary and Joseph leave, and then like good parents, realize after a good long while that they've left Jesus at the gas station somewhere around Capernaum. After they search for him, the find him in the temple in Jerusalem, and they clutch their hands to their heart and squeeze their lips together in relief, love, and pride that he's not doing hoodrat stuff with his friends. Then they are still a little mad, and Mary, probably with a pretty good stink eye of her own, grabs Jesus by the back of the neck, says "Where have you BEEN? We have been looking for you forever!" And Jesus, wiggling away from his mother's death grip and rubbing the back of his neck, retorts as only a 13 year old can, "Geez, Ma. Why did you even have to look for me? Didn't you know I'd be in Father's house? Ugh, earthly parental units." 

I mean, I'm definitely not Jesus, but it certainly feels like my Father's house when I go into a space where the main objective is to view art. I must admit that the walls in my room are a bit crowded, but if they were bare, I would not feel as at home. I don't think it's too overstimulating, but I love seeing stories in my every field of view. And I'd like to tell them to you, if you'd like.

I love art because it is a journey: I will never know everything there is to know about it, in whatever medium. Definitions of it constantly change, its concepts are constantly evolving. We are involved in every piece of it, and at least one piece of it helps every single person on the earth know that they are a part of something bigger. We aren't required to like it, it's OK to wrestle with it, and it's more than great to have our own interpretations and definitions. We are allowed to practice it freely everywhere we go, no matter who we are.

And the great thing is that it's 2009 and we've only scratched the surface of all there is to be discovered. 

Did I have a point? Well, art does something to me, and life would not be meaningful without it. 

Here is something that I've been privileged enough to see with my own eyes (and my quiet third eye: my camera):

There are some words that really encapsulate what I've been trying to say:

"I wasn't like every other kid, you know, who dreams about being an astronaut, I was always more interested in what bark was made out of on a tree. Richard Gere's a real hero of mine. Sting. Sting would be another person who's a hero. The music he's created over the years, I don't really listen to it, but the fact that he's making it, I respect that. I care desperately about what I do. Do I know what product I'm selling? No. Do I know what I'm doing today? No. But I'm here, and I'm gonna give it my best shot." --Hansel