Monday, December 18, 2017

There Are Stars


I don't like writing about art, visual art. Or film, or poetry, or prose, really. Yet I've done all of the above, and have learned of great works by others who have done the same. Still, what I find on my own is always what I favor most. Much of the magic is in the finding, and then watching the formerly unknown film or painting or poem or novel as it opens up to me.

I'll return to the best work again and again, if I can find it, but I wonder if my returns are less about the great works themselves and more about attempting to reclaim the magic that was in my initial moment of discovery, and how my first experience with the work changed me. But can these things be separated? Isn't it all intertwined—the work, the discovery of the work, the way the work changes the viewer? Doesn't it all combine and add another layer to each person who sees the work? 

Part of me wants to tell everyone I know to get to the seventh floor of SFMOMA before January 1st, when the exhibition that holds the work I discovered Friday, stayed with for over an hour, and then returned to with someone special on Saturday for closer to two hours, and share this experience with me, but I hesitate. 

I know my telling will subtract something from all the work can be, and I even worry that the someone special I introduced to the work on Saturday was unable to feel what I felt on Friday, when I walked into a particular room on the seventh floor of the museum, without a single preconceived notion, and felt myself begin to change.

“There are stars exploding around you
And there is nothing, nothing you can do”

Lyrics in this work I reference, such as the above, are drawn from parts of Ásdís Sif Gunnarsdóttir’s poem, "Feminine Ways."


  1. Oh yes. I get this. You want to share this special, beautiful experience but somehow the sharing is not the same as that initial moment or hour or time or place. Thanks for expressing this experience so authentically. I have missed your blog. xx

    1. Thank you, Diane. I miss my blog too. I don't write here as often because the conversations here have basically evaporated. This world has changed, most people have migrated away from the type of blog I write. Still, I post every so often anyway. Nostalgia? Perhaps.

  2. I wish I could walk into that exhibition. But thank you for those final sentences; they've carried me somewhere else. I mourn the loss of blogs and that different conversation. Probably the more so because I just don't want the constant activity of Instagram etc. I miss the quieter spaces with images interspersed with words; as much as I love images! And I agree so absolutely with your instinct to absorb rather than explain. One day - a cafe - when we can chat and reference obliquely.. Kate (of obsolete little house;)

    1. Yes, one day in a cafe. Your use of the word obsolete before little house makes me so sad.