Friday 13 April 2007

Not(e) Worthy?

I came across this extremely interesting article on the Washington Post (referenced by Atanu Dey in his blog today). Haven't been able to get it out of my mind so far. Go ahead. Read it. It takes 15 minutes or so as it is a long piece, but go ahead anyways.

How often are we unconscious of the superlative beauty of life that incidentally surrounds us? Does Art have to have a Frame, after all? We weren't like this when we were children. Back then, we beheld most things with a sense of wonder and awe. It's not like we were objectively questioning something or were actually curious, we were just 'in the flow' of it...happy to immerse ourselves in the ras of the moment, eyes wide, mouth agape. When I read the kids' reaction to the music in this article, I was plain jealous.

It doesn't take much to find beauty around us, if you think about it. And by beauty, I don't mean any particular art - just whatever works for you. Even in the seemingly robotic lifestyles we live in today.

If you are driving along to work, with the radio or a tape on, and your favorite song comes along, just give yourself up to it. You can listen with half an ear while you contemplate the travails of the day ahead. Or you can get right into it - as the words come back to you, the groove gets your pulse racing, and the song just washes over you. Lose yourself - for a few minutes. You will have a smile on your face, without you even realizing it.

Many of us work in modern offices, where once you enter, you are in an antiseptic environment of artificial lighting and cooling. You can't tell the time of day by looking at the sun, 'coz you don't get to see the sun. But all you need to do is step out at dusk, out the door or atop the terrace of your office building, and watch the sun go down. It's a different sunset every single day. The colors, going from gold to pink, the patterns of abstraction as the light plays on the clouds, the occasional shaft of sunlight piercing through a break, as the sun seems to make a last-ditch attempt at remaining king of the sky. Stare at it, examine it like you just finished painting it - for a few minutes.

If it starts to pour (in the middle of April!) on your drive back, and one moment you're cursing your luck and wrestling the wheel in the sludge of traffic, and the next - a brilliant flash of lightning lights up the sky in front of you, throwing you out of your fantasy of misery, stunning you with its momentary iridescence and clarity, where you can see every strand of the intricate branch-work of the lightning strike, the black sky going a majestic deep purple for a split-second - you don't see the traffic anymore, you hear only the pitter-patter drum beat of the raindrops on your windshield in the single quiet moment before the thunder rolls massively along...

...and you realize that all around you, there is a fantastic show being put on. All the time. Just for you. For free. Only if you'd care to look. If we are hurtling towards a state where one doesn't realize great beauty when one is smacked in the face with it, where the hell are we going?

And by the way, all those things I just described happened in my life, today. Just for me!

1 comment:

Neelakantan said...

Glad that you caught the piece on the violinist!