Sunday, July 6, 2008

Art and the Spirit

A few weeks ago, on a thread on Jake's Place, a blog that is now closed because sometimes a person has to move on, I posted the following comment:

"Art - looking at it, singing it, playing it, listening to it, reading it, painting, drawing, writing it definitely drives my spiritual growth and is, in a real sense, my spirit. My connection with God, with Christ, with the Spirit, with the Trinity is not there without art. Art is like my primary language - the language of my spirit. I have never fully understood this until [recently]. I will have to write about this on my blog - maybe tomorrow. There's so much of art wrapped up in my awakenings, or are my awakenings wrapped up in art?"

Last week, June 30th, was my 63rd birthday. Newlin and I spent it with our friend Christopher in New York City (known hereafter as "The City"). I wanted to see The Waterfalls, four water installations by Olafur Eliasson, on the East River, at Brooklyn piers 4 & 5, pier 35 in Manhattan, Governor's Island and under the Brooklyn Bridge.

I'm not big on astrology, but I am a Cancer, which is a water sign, and all my life, even long before I knew about water signs, I knew that I had to be near water - always - preferably ocean water but rivers and lakes will do, especially big rivers. The East River does very well.

Add to the East River these four scaffolds of different sizes, heights and orientations, with water cascading over them being blown about by the wind and I was in seventh heaven.

At first, from the foot of pier 17 we found a place from which we could see all four waterfalls at once from the land. They're not close to one another. One is on the Manhattan side, another on the Brooklyn side, one on the side of an island in the river near the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, and the other between the first two, at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge, facing the Manhattan side.

I am at a loss as to why these waterfalls are so important to my spirit. We spent almost the entire day seeing them. We took a Circle Line boat out on the river just to get close to them. It was even more magical to be in a spot on the river from which we could see all four at one time. This was the best of all worlds, to be on the water, looking at water pounding down from great heights, falling in sheets, cool, independent, taking their life from the river and giving it back again, but never the exact same life. The river water that is drawn up at this moment is not the same water that will be drawn up in the next second. The river keeps flowing away from the waterfall.

I wish I could say some really profound thing that would make sense of all this, but I can't. All I can do is gaze in wonder and delight, and, now, today, to remember that wonder and delight still with me, part of me, living in a place within me that will feed me in ways I don't yet understand.

I hope the link works. Go have a look. The photos are nothing like being there, but they're close. Enjoy.


James said...

Happy belated birthday! Great post, by the way and I relate to your feelings, a lot.

DeanB said...

Where you said, "I wish I could say some really profound thing that would make sense of all this, but I can't," that for me is the point of there being more than one medium for expression. Art speaks for itself, and some art speaks to you and some doesn't, but if an artist could say something in words that was the equivalent , he or she would be a writer instead of an artist.