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.

The Slave Market & Disappearing Voltaire

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.”

Portrait of deceased brother if he lived to be an adult.

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].

Interactive self-portrait.

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.


Wandering towards warmth

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.

[Really] Low Tide

The claim is that “over 160 billion tonnes of seawater flow in and out of the Bay of Fundy twice a day.”

I would be grateful if I could purge my mind of all the thoughts and sentiments that don’t add to my quality of life. If I could do that twice a day, I wouldn’t be sure if I’d be a more genuine version of myself. Hence, perhaps once a day would be sufficient. Let’s not get greedy now…!

Solitude Found

However I feel and wherever I am, I try to find solitude. It’s a quiet that renews me because I can be myself.  Solitude encourages me not only to reflect, but to jettison the ill-feelings of comparisons and expectations.  The Rolling Stones, rock classic, Satisfaction, is so very telling:

“…When I’m watchin’ my TV and a man comes on and tells me
How white my shirts can be
But, he can’t be a man ’cause he doesn’t smoke
The same cigarettes as me…”

I’m not equating isolation with solitude, as the former suggests being devoid of sensory inputs.  No, this is about a mindfulness that keeps at bay the disquiet of our modern life.  Turn off the radio, the TV, the podcast, et al. Though it may be easier–if all too obvious–to find solitude when completely alone, that is unnecessary.  Solitude can manifest itself anywhere. Don’t you find solitude at a social event [even at work] when you can momentarily remove yourself to a space that doesn’t invade your thinking and feeling?  Step away, even for a moment, to find some quiet, some calm, some level of respite.

We’ve yielded to wanting impressions that don’t add genuine value to our sense of self: number of likes, tweets, comments, “friends”, postings and so forth.  Allow yourself to be your own best company.