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Shadows Are Not Grey


I put my heart and soul into my work, and I have lost my mind in the process. ~Vincent van Gogh

Feet flying in synchronized patterns thunder down upon the stage making the floor talk, echo like dozens of gunshots firing almost simultaneously. Repeated over and over they sound like belts of firecrackers popping one after another on the Fourth of July. These feet move with blurring speed defying the ability of most humans, perhaps even defying the laws of physics.

Dance is the hidden language of the soul ~Martha Graham

A lithe woman in flowing, torso hugging, flaring red gown glides across the platform. Her arms dance snake like, two serpents with coils intertwined, gently rubbing, rubbing until she sheds her external skins, sheds the silk that hides her heart. Her body moves in sensuous water patterns ,swaying with hedonistic grace hypnotizing the audience with it’s elegance.

Dancing is poetry with arms and legs. ~Charles Baudelaire

A raven haired angel trapped inside a solitary beam of dusty light opens her mouth and out flows the lavish colored sounds of a celestial seraphim as if she descended from heaven to sow joy into the ears of mortals gifting all a glimpse of eternity at the foot of creator.

When I sing, I can feel romance in everything around me. Kailash Kher

Four troubadours extracting magic from violin, saxophone, flute, uilleann pipes, Bodhrán, crafting melodies cocooning the performers in a comforting cloud of music drawing movement from the dancers, arias from the vocalists. How is it objects created of wood, metal, and skins can speak in tongues understood by all despite disparate languages of the listeners?

Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without. ~Confucius

This is the power of the arts, the power of creative people to transport, if only for a few moments, the human soul to another world, to loose the bonds of life tethering us to earth and allow a person to alight onto an ethereal plane of existence where time ceases, thought focuses, and being begins.

Art is not what you see, but what you make others see. ~Edgar Degas

Both performer and audience enter into a state achieved by the artist while immersed in the throes of the creative process and of the viewer experiencing the result of that same creative process. Bliss for both the giver and the receiver. Symbiotic. Interdependent. Harmonious.

Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. ~Thomas Merton

For two hours on a Friday evening, I visited the ethereal plane when my wife and I attended a performance of Riverdance, a enthralling show that I would have gladly attended the next hour, the next day, the next week perhaps become a Riverdance groupie, alas it has already moved on perhaps never to heavy shoe back into my life.

Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable. ~Banksy

I didn’t grow up with an eye on the arts. We as a family typically didn’t attend plays (except for that one time my friend Tim had the lead in a local High School musical) or dance exhibitions or concerts (the fine art concerts not the drug altered rock concerts frequented during my early adulthood) or art museums. We didn’t paint, didn’t sculpt, didn’t write stories, didn’t take photographs other than at family events most which are eye sores artistically. I didn’t sing, didn’t dance, didn’t draw. We were consumed by sport which only stopped for sleep and church and school. In school, I was most interested in the hard sciences and math. Comparatively, time spent in the arts could be considered time wasted. Not even wasted. Time in the arts was a nonentity. You can’t waste what doesn’t exist.

It would be possible to describe everything scientifically, but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure. ~Albert Einstein

It wasn’t until my academics ran their twisty course ending at a delta called graduation sending me into the sea of adult life that I discovered a penchant for actualized beauty that I began to delve into creative expressions of my own, that I first began allowing my soul to be examined by others in the works I pulled from my soul, each a baby lavished with love to it reached maturity. I experimented with writing and photography and painting. Playing with photography I came upon the startling discovery that white sunlight is red at the crests of the day and slides up the spectrum settling on blue when high in the sky. It was more startling when I realized shadows are not gray, shadows are filled with rainbow colors in subtler tones than when agitated by the ecstasy of bright light. It’s at these crescendo moments when I find myself wondering what my life would be like if I could go back in time and alter the course of my education away from Engineering and toward the arts.

Creativity takes courage. ~Henri Matisse 

It is easy to look in the rear view mirror back across the decades and indulge in a little fantasy that my life would be richer if I could hop in a Tardis and make a course correction allowing me to change lanes from Engineering to the Arts. But one can never know how life would be today if even one seemingly insignificant choice was tweaked let alone a choice to completely change a college major. Each choice is but one link in the long chain of life that has taken me where I am today. I am happy where the river of life has carried me so far. I received a great Engineering education, landed jobs I enjoyed, and have ample opportunity to indulge in the arts to my hearts content.  It may have taken me decades to realize shadows hold miraculous color but realize it I eventually did.  So, looking back, I can honestly say I wouldn’t change any of those decisions. I am happy with who I am and excited about the discoveries I have before me.

 

You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul. ~George Bernard Shaw

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