Art is a subjective apprehension of experience. Who we are… where and when and why we are… the how of how we are who we are… and maybe even why we are… our assumed expectations… all these color every thought we have with shades of meaning as our awareness bends light so allow our processor to evaluate the ever incoming data stream.
We experience, a complex play of content and context begin their battle to express that most elusive of values, truth. Osiris and Set… Apollo and Pan/Dionysus… Maleficent and Sleeping Beauty… opposing consideration of that eternal question: Who am I and why am I me?
A difficulty presents itself when we try to determine an all-encompassing readily acceptable definition of art because there is not and cannot be a definition of art that is acceptable by the all. Read an algebra book and consider the variety of existential apprehension, proportion statistics and probability theory, open yourself to the random nature of life, experience the nature of being.
Art stops you, make you go, Aha! The beauty of art is our shared understanding that there is the true, there is the right, the correct, yin and yang, the Tao. The the we are a part of. That which we experience as being…. The from which and to which.
Metaphors are useful as long as we realize they are but imperfect human mathematics trying to record our trying to take a measure of the unmeasurable, our theory on why we choose to define the undefinable as we do ever, refining our references, expressing the inexpressible…
We experience each and every one of us. We share that in common, you and I both are individuated expressions of being…. We are the experience of being, the actual expression of being perpetually manifesting (at least for the time being). Body feels, mind calculates, soul evaluates and being, experiential existential expression of experience manifests continuously consciously as us.
We can get close to others intellectually but we are solitaire in our being. We are, in our awareness, separate from everyone else. We are, and part of the process for some of us is that we have chosen to share the experience (of being alive, of being human), receiving confirmation that while our individual apprehension is isolated, wrapped up in the me, the experience is not a solitary one but one that we all share each of us accept and understand as part of the glorious experience of being alive, the isolation of our individual expressions of existential experience.
Listen to the voice, hear the words being said, consider the trust-worthiness of the one presenting. Descartes: I think therefore I am. TS Eliot and James Joyce were conduits through which I found a way to express my appreciation for the experience of being. I saw art as a means by which other beings shared with me their way of expressing a greater joy, this is me here now, same as you, let’s enjoy all this together.
The very words I use are fraught with danger. There are many ways this could go terribly wrong. You may not understand the definition that I use to construct the phrases by which I try to express verbally. You probably haven’t experienced life in a way to have learned what I mean when I use a word in the way I do. You may not understand the rhythm, the pacing of my phrases, the subtle play of meaning that comes with verbal association.
In my apprehension (the knowing that comes when many sides have been considered and I formed my own opinion) Rimbaud was enjoying the quieter part of the experience of understanding himself as a passenger on a drunken boat when his mind opened up, his awareness perceived. He apprehended himself as self, perhaps, if I can drop enough clues to properly express the shade of meaning I consciously willful intend for you to perceive. He allowed himself to be open to receiving by being open to a greater apprehension, it was because of his hope and faith in a sensible cosmos that Rimbaud saw the colors of the vowels.
According to optics, light diffuses into wavelengths when it encounters the presence of other conditions in the experiential real-scape. Color is not a thing but a means of differentiation. This is the scientific explanation for why we see color. Our eyes receive light broken by experience, fractured through a prism, thank you Katy Perry, into this into that, work it girl, work that metaphor, appearing one moment as a really bad party clown then transforming into a lecherous old woman then again metamorphosing into a sleazy uncle, a rush of juxtaposed images with intended similarity of context to assume the content of the images, fracturing light, defining the colors of the vowels, the core of the cry of awareness to eternity.
I have no problem accepting physics and mechanics, these are the yin and yang of this particular of here and now. The mechanics that keeps the clockwork universe ticking. Because I am so confident in the security they provide, so confident that they are indeed a good way to evaluate the evidence of here and now, I use them to extend beyond. To push beyond the known boundaries of human expression, to find a way to express to my fellow travelers my humble desire that they will work with me, pass out of this steam of words and allow me to color my vowels, my words, my existential manifestation. I am and can only be the me that I am and this is the song that I sing, listen as I allow the flow of characters to make meaningful sounds, you understanding allows my words to transform into phrases, communication. I am an expressive voice who chooses to carefully express the right shades of meaning to communicate the purpose-filled expression of my understanding and my hope of creating a work of art capable of attracting another willing to come along sometimes.
Step out of that world of conformity, forever preoccupied with the practical application, trying to determine an angle, a handle you can get on it, a lever by which you might move the world. Just figure out the best way of dealing with world. Aren’t you tired of forever enduring the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.
I know, we have to do what we have to do. It’s what we do, it’s who we are most of the time. We conform to the expectations that colossus social contract that tries to convince us these are times for diminished expectations. It isn’t as good as it should be but not as bad as it could be. Sometimes we all like to brag, we did better, we overcame, we understood, we achieved. Sometimes we find our way to the banks of a mighty river and we find a dock in a quiet bend that offers a ride on the drunken boat.
Can you acknowledge part of you that knows, that understands, that feels. The existential here and now, I write these words in the hope that you will read them, choose to see that I am using acceptable conventions to express my appreciation for being able to so play with words that I call you my friend. For even though we are worlds apart existentially, as long as the words flow and the river stays gentle, a pleasant ride on a drunken boat on a warm summer day is a beautiful thing indeed.
And, if you have gotten this far I thank you for coming into my garden. I am flattered that you enjoyed your ride on my aural-verbal roller-coaster presenting my understanding at this stage of life. Because you have, I know that you know what I mean, you understand and by some conventions of defining the word I can reasonably assume a vernacular expression of affectionate physical definition to call you brother or sister, alphabetical order intended. Thanks for coming along with me.