Why We Like Paintings
Paintings are islands.
It is a fast river,
We paddle like crazy,
to avoid that rock,
Sometimes we exhaust ourselves,
giving our best to paddle upstream,
to avoid disaster.
We are always carried downstream.
So many beautiful scenes,
but they go by too fast.
And we work so hard not to be distracted.
Our thoughts do not always ride the river with us.
They can race ahead or linger behind.
And then the storm.
Cold, wet, furious.
Our thoughts are here, now.
It takes all our strength before it passes.
Ah, but there is the little island,
where we rest.
We dry our clothes in the warm sun.
We lunch. We nap. We catch our breath.
Art can be measured by how it marks your memory. If you remember something, then it is added to what you know. Most things fade. But for some, the first time they see that Vermeer, the Rembrandt, the Picasso, or mabe the Wyeth, or the Pollock, or the Disney, or the Henry Moore, their memory is etched. Great art can add more to your memory each time you see it. We are haunted by some art. We are inspired and lifted up, a feeling we are not about to forget. We are told some certain work of art is important, we see it, and we forget it. But then you see another artwork and are moved, shocked, inspired, enlightened. The experience is rich. How do you know? You can't forget it!