Saturday, May 24, 2008

Count every beautiful thing we can see

Elizabeth asked her readers- her friends- to go out this weekend and do something living. I scrounged up some batteries for my camera and went to the park. I got some really crappy pictures, and this one.


These plants are dry and brittle and brown. Dead.

When I uploaded this photo and saw it full size, I was reminded of this piece of art, a sculpture by Richard Johnson titled "Parasite (The Thing Within My Spine)." Wheelchair Dancer pointed me to this exhibit of artwork on pain, and I've been meaning to write about it in terms of the success of the representation of physical pain in art, but I've been putting it off because although most of the art in this exhibit is very good, only a couple pieces even come close to actually evoking physical pain. This sculpture is good- seriously, go look at it, read the artist's description- and I love that this photo resembles it, because in this photo Pain is Beauty.

I need that today. I guess this doesn't really fit the directive to go out and do something fun; this post is fundamentally depressing. But, my head feels like I've been run over by something larger than a golf cart but smaller than a semi-truck, my throat is on fire with heartburn and the antacids are doing nothing, my hands are bruised and aching, my neck is radiating pain down to my lower back, my hips are out because I walked around the park this morning, and like a goddamn idiot I went and got a massive sunburn on top of everything else. I am the incarnation of pain, I am panting with it, and in this picture pain is elegance, delicate and architectural.

5 comments:

Neil said...

Those thistles may be dead, but you honour their lives with the photo. Yay for you; you also accepting Elizabeth's challenge!

Even though you might have done that anyway, did it feel different somehow because of Beth's request? Mine sure did.

Cheers,
Neil

Lene Andersen said...

Wow. Gorgeous photo - it's very evocative. Thanks for the links, as well.

I know squat about why you have heartburn, but I'm going to take the risk and potentially look like an idiot by passing on what's helped me. I've had heartburn and ulcers for decades due to meds and aside from another medication, which sure, helps, but not enough, I've fond massive relief in a) drinking hot water with a small slice of lemon (works on homeopathic principles, soothes fairly instantly); and b) taking acidophilus twice a day with meals. I never miss b) - two days without it and my stomach's a roiling vat.

em said...

That picture is wonderful. There is something so satisfying in going forth and translating your situation into a creative act. I'm glad you got to go out and do that but I'm sorry that you are paying the price.

Elizabeth McClung said...

I like the picture because it evokes what we expect from a plant and counters that. I am not sure in my case whether I find that static/fixed nature in the picture personally respresentative but then I guess I better get off my ass and find my own picture of pain then. So, inspired to do another project!

Tayi said...

Thanks for all your comments. :)

Neil: It did indeed seem different to do something for the express purpose of enjoying myself, and also knowing that I was going to make a post about it beforehand.

lene: thanks for the suggestions, I'll have to try that.

em: I'm glad you liked the picture.

Elizabeth: did you check out the rest of the art exhibit on pain? There is a lot of different styles and messages there, you might find it interesting.