Conversations in Art 2,TWO, II
[I went on a trip last week... here's part of the lowdown, from then and beyond]
Call it serendipity.
I'm driving to Washington D.C. There's popcorn on the floor of the rental van. Crumbs on my black pants. Cups with our names on them. And Chasing Vermeer playing through the back speakers; I can't hear it very well.
We pull in to a rest stop and the hum of traffic dissipates. Now I can hear Chasing Vermeer. The characters are having a philosophical discussion about Art. What makes some things worthy of being in a museum? What makes other things trash we'll throw away? I am reminded of Long Island Express Girl's challenging comments on the last post.
Anyway. One character says that art is a puzzle. It makes him think in new ways. Though I don't know it yet, I will agree with him over the next few days as I view many pieces at the National Gallery of Art, including The Way Things Go (an art-in-motion piece I'll write about in an upcoming talk) . I will also agree with the character when I get home and my eldest daughter secretly begins reading a book I used for last month's book club.
The book? Missing Mountains, about the issue of Mountain Top Removal. Eldest is moved by it. Essays, photos, poetry, short stories, songs. Art that makes her think in new ways. One thing leads to another, and I tell my girls about a beautiful woman who lives in Appalachia, who is using her musical art to try to help people think differently. Maybe even help them to have compassion. To love. To long for what they didn't know.
We sit for a long time. Littlest on my lap. Eldest leaning into my shoulder. We listen to this haunting music. I am overcome. Tears rise. I can feel my heart beating, swelling even. Littlest Child decides she loves Appalachian folk music. And the Appalachian dulcimer. She wants to find someone who can teach her to play. A twelve string one, she decides. Because she is convinced that the beauty she hears from Blue Mountain Mama is from a 12-string dulcimer.
What makes art Art? A little child shall tell me. Has told.
Water on Paper Sculpture, by Sara. Used with permission.
MORE ON ART:
Gabriel Scheller's Art and Inspiration at Christine Scheller's blog
Gabe Scheller's profound thoughts on the sacredness of art.
Ted's poetic discussion of Chapter 3: Tossed Treasure.