“Blue skies, smiling at me, nothing but blue skies, do I see.” Irving Berlin
It just hit me. This color blue. It was electric, cheerful, optimistic, surreal and more. Not sure why, but it just was.
So, I took a photo.
Ella Fitzgerald recorded a terrific rendition of this song. Perhaps we should cue it up and listen to it more often. The lyrics just might move you from a place you don’t like, to one that’s much more hospitable if just kinder.
Many artists come to mind when the genre of surrealism becomes a topic for discussion–or bone of contention–but Salvador Felipe Jacinto Dali y Domenech is one that occupies a notable position in the annals of imaginative imagery and surrealistic interpretation.
If your preferences lean toward realism, then Dali can and will, leave you wondering why such creations are in a museum, indeed, an eponymous one at that. Art is Art and its value depends on so many areas of technical and aesthetic measures. For the rest of us mortals, subjective interpretation is all we can muster. I overheard someone trying to understand one of his paintings and his somber remark was, “Salvador Deviant.”
Art is what you make of it. It means you can be apathetic, sympathetic, curious, appreciative, angry, happy, bewildered, uncertain, confident, disappointed, insulted, overwhelmed, inspired or even validated.
You have to appreciate his creative genius when you’re pulled into one of his canvases only to be taken aback when the image changes. In one moment you see 2 nuns, then a blink later, you suddenly see a face made in part by the same 2 nuns [cf first image above for Voltaire].
My self-portrait is an interesting take on a photo booth, but one more entertaining if not interesting. In a way I’m borrowing a slice of time from Dali’s world. A simple souvenir for me, though I suspect Dali would’ve seen a leitmotif kindred to the impertinence and sarcasm of his painting, Persistence of Memory.
The itinerary reads, “4-hours, 34 minutes” of travel time. Not unreasonable considering point A to B is about 1,200 miles [1,931 km]. Fortunately, I can get a nap without much effort.
Alternatively, I can journal and even snap a photo or two. Which I did. And I also thought back on Christopher Nolan’s film, Interstellar. The recent news about capturing a photo of a black hole and what seems to be renewed interest in the cosmos has sparked [again] my curiosity about time and space and relativity.
One line in the movie fascinates me to no end: “One hour here [on an alien planet] is 7 hours on earth.” Because the crew traveled through a worm hole at almost the speed of light, time dilation occurred. Theoretically, it means time moves slower when you’re travelling extremely fast.
While it would be a major convenience to reduce travel time across the globe, I consider some of that time in transit as quiet time, even meditative. We’re already rushing–to arrive here–to get over there. It’s an overused saying but, “life is better viewed as a journey rather than a destination.”
It’s at this time of year when I hear longings for warmer weather. From workers in the office building–a lot while in the elevator–to family and friends, I hear wanting cries and wishes for winter to end. February is akin to that last push toward a finish line; it’s a test of emotional endurance because you’ve made it this far yet there’s still a distance to go. When will this end? Let’s finish winter and get on with spring. Polar vortex aside, I’m still enjoying winter. However with daylight piling on, it’s not difficult to think about spring.
In no uncertain terms, sunny, warmer weather puts people in a better mood, especially during those first few days. What’s not to like? You get more vitamin D. The air feels gentler. The sky appears friendlier. The pace of life is calmer. The sounds and sights of life are no longer insulated: laughter, more people outdoors, car windows open, music escapes from said windows, smiles appear from once stoic, resigned faces and of course, fashion turns lighter as puffy, padded, heavy and scratchy attire is relegated to dry cleaning, the cedar chest or some other domestic sarcophagus to be opened later in the year.
Many of us in New England are already wandering toward and wondering about the warmth. For now, we can still huddle in our coats, don an extra layer, warm ourselves with a mug of Hot Toddy and make the best of things next to the fireplace or wood stove.
Am I the only one–if not one of the very few–that doesn’t object to the return of “Eastern Standard Time” in New England?
I refer to this change as back to “real time” much to the chagrin of most everyone around me. There are plusses and minuses–like everything else–but for me, this is not a big deal and I for one like that extra hour of sleep.
Chasing the light with a camera in hand is very therapeutic for me. The time of day, whether early or late, contains a salve that takes the edge off my depression.
Light can be a fantastic muse. It’s never exactly the same yet it can provide similar if not familiar feelings for one person to the next. I love chasing the light…
Contrary to the expression, “it is what it is,” I’m reminded that many things in our day-to-day lives aren’t what they appear to be. What it is, is often isn’t.
It comes in many forms, but this spectre of self-doubt, worth, value, meaning, purpose,etc. is more apparent now than ever. We may not say or admit to it, but I sense many from all walks of life are experiencing an existential crisis.
We may not feel smart enough. Or attractive enough. We may think, “why don’t I have more of what he/she has?” The forces of social media, the rise of celebrity status, the persistent beat of consumption, the increasingly divisive discourse of “I’m right, you’re wrong” all contribute to this hunger for meaning and purpose.
But the larger question shouldn’t be, “why are so many things messed up?” Ask yourself, “what can I do to make life a little easier for someone else?” At the end of every spinning class, our instructor encourages us with these directives: believe that you can do what you plan to do and if you want to feel good about yourself, do something good for someone else.