Thursday, July 15, 2004

July 15, Thurs

I went to the Accademia today, where I saw Michelangelo's Prisoners, St. Matthew, a Pieta (of questionable attribution), and, of course, David.

Now I am like a snake that swallowed a goat whole and will lie for months on end, overcome by the process of digestion. I feel like I'm trapped by those stone prisoners. I drew for 4 and a half hours and had nothing but a hollow shell. Then I drew for another two, from a different prisoner, and tried to indicate some of the vitality with my lines. It may be hopeless, trying to express what I see. The life of the art becomes trapped inside of me, so that I am the stone, the prison. The more you try to grasp it, the harder you become, the less it can escape. The Sufi teacher Hazrat Inayat Khan said we have to become softer and softer on the spiritual path, moving from hearts of stone to hearts... of what? I can't remember the analogy. Maybe it was water. And Jonathan Goenewan, a genius and a great teacher, said the body has to be like water to play the paino right, to express the spirit of the music.

I can look and look and look, and I never cease to be amazed when I look again. Why are these works like lights radiating purely through their forms, the quality of their making? These are the record of the hand of that man, THE man of talent. If I sound hyperbolic or starry-eyed, it's because I AM starry-eyed. I can hardly see--my vision is blurry, as it has been recently after drawing and painting, but more so. I spent 9 hours in the Accademia, and I only left because I couldn't see anymore.

I guess I'm just going to go on with my little life as an artist, being bold in my little ways when I can! What a shadow we all seem to be, though--all of our expressions and achievements. Even Michelangelo is only a shadow of something greater, something he knew all too well. Of course, that "something greater" is ourselves, and at times I even experience the joy of knowing that it is free from expression.

"Without form, without expression, without attributes..."

"Everything that is real is given and received in silence."
--Meher Baba


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