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kid lit and culinary musings of brenda winter hansen

Sacre Bleu! More than just art appreciation

April 9th, 2012

I saw Christopher Moore speak last Thursday at the Lake Forest Park Third Place Books. He was exactly who I hope he’d be. I know that sounds kinda weird, but sometimes the Author doesn’t match up with the author. Anyway, something he said rang like a bell in my head, so I’m going to take a moment to expound upon that, because I haven’t had the chance to read his new book yet.

He addressed the phenomena that occurs when you’ve spent hours staring at amazing art. I don’t mean art fatigue (fartigue?), like when you’ve tried to see everything the Louvre has to offer in two hours. I think he meant what happens when you actually have the chance to be with works of art long enough to appreciate not only everything the art embodies, but everything about life that art can embody. He called it art appreciation.

I consider that head space as a kind of extreme sensual awareness. Letting yourself exist in the presence of the world around you without feeling compelled to act creates a heightened awareness of the world. The smells, sounds, angles, and brightness or the roughness and shadows; whatever your world is, you can know it better by taking a little more time to observe. And from there, it’s this awareness that illuminates the inextricable nature of our universe, of our existence, and inevitably leads to compassion.

Tapping onto compassion is one of the keys to being a creative person, whether you are a painter, dancer, musician, or writer. Ultimately, the goal is to share our experiences, to find or create a common bond. The trouble is that life today (at least in the US) gives one very little opportunity to slow down enough to really sense the world in a fashion that allows us to be more compassionate.

When was the last time you really noticed what was going on outside your window or inside your heart? When was the last time you really listened? How do you slow down and notice the world? Whatever it takes, do it now. Feel the texture of the universe and share it.

2 Responses to “Sacre Bleu! More than just art appreciation”

  1. Kevin says:

    The cherry tree in our backyard just exploded into bloom today, pushing the blossoms all the way to the very tips of the branches. The birds are chattering away. The grass needs to be mowed.

    A lovely post. Well said.


  2. bwh says:

    Hey, Kevin, don’t you think spring is the perfect time to reawaken any hibernating senses? It’s as if the palette and canvas are changing as fast as the landscape. Enjoy!

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