Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Is It Art Yet?

Art is what we want it to be. And what we want it to be can change.
Art can be beautiful. It can also be temporary.
Art like life has lessons for us. We can become attached to our own ideas about what art is. And these attachments like our judgements can restrict our vision.
Someone might ask; How can taking a painting, burning it, and placing the ashes in a mason jar be art? The painting itself started out as a transformation of canvas and colors into an idea that had some kind of compositional, pictorial, or conceptual value. Aesthetics at this point might jump in and decide if some standard of Beauty has been achieved and expressed. For many of us this is enough to decide if this is art and if this art has value. But Art would have us move a bit further. Art would ask us if life isn't change and if some change is in fact not beautiful, but rather ugly?
 Many of us know abundant health and many of us have suffered from disease. Was our soul different when we were sick than when we were healthy? Even if we behaved differently, our essence, the thing that makes us who we are did not change.
So here we are in the Universe where change is constant and we ourselves are constantly changing except for that thing within us that never changes. What does that say to our striving, our efforts to achieve security, our everyday pursuit of connection and validation? Whatever our attachments are (and they are legion) they are illusions because if they were real, they would be constants in an inconstant Universe.
So the ashes of the painting in a mason jar does something the "pretty picture" did not do. It furthered our information about the Truth. And it did so by making Beauty part of a process which acknowledges the ephemeral and transitory nature of Beauty.
It showed us ourselves wrapped as we are in the daily illusions of a world that defies our efforts to understand our place in it. For a true understanding can only come with a release of all those attachments to what we think it should be. And that true understanding lets us see that Love is the transformational power behind all things. We are then free to love ourselves and the world.

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