I found color on the street and a sign that could be a stand in for the title of this blog.
But the cold drove me past the numerous benches along the sidewalk. I needed shelter. Then, suddenly, I came to a courtyard, hidden in among the stores on my right with high walls to block the wind and a solitary bench.
As well as the strangest palms I’ve ever seen.
I’m sure there’s a reason for the wrapping (as sure as I am that one of you will clue me in), but the look grabbed my imagination. Sitting and listening to the whisper of the dead fronds waving out of the tops of the cocoons, the place had a slightly sad sense of mystery – call it the Courtyard of the Mummy Palms. Or perhaps it was a visual condensing of Palm Sunday and Good Friday.
The phrase “under wraps” popped into my head. And it led me to consider once again an inherent tension in the making of art. As you all know, I had a wonderful piece of news this week – winning two Telly awards – and I wasn’t shy to post it. And I’m not apologetic about hoping lots of people read these blogs. There’s a great deal of hubris in creating. When we create, artists are, in a sense, saying, “Look at how I see the world!” It’s a statement and an invitation blended together. If such a thing is possible, it’s a self-focused exploration meant for others.
That’s the tension.
Sometimes at an event – like this past week at the high profile organization I worried about – I feel a great urge to pull someone over and say, “Look at how cool this turned out!” I don’t, usually, because I’m sure it sounds so egotistical. After all, Solomon admonished, “let another praise you, and not your own mouth.” But I see such moments as two of us celebrating something delightful that has happened – I tried this and it worked! I don’t want to stand behind the work and be a recipient of the gaze. I want to come out front and be a fellow viewer.
Maybe this isn’t unique to art. It might be the same tension we have in telling of our kids’ triumphs. Look how cool HE turned out!
So I guess I need to wrap things up here. But not for long.
Sharing is too much fun!