Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"Be Offended"...

...the post stated, snarkily linking to the artist's website.
I clicked, and was not offended. I was depressed by a curtain being pulled down over my already dark mind. I don't need to see the nightmares of others. I have enough of my own. 
Thank you.
But this link got me to thinking (and no, it doesn't take much). Am I not offended enough throughout the day? Offended by the idiot women drivers on my commute, with sunglasses that make them look like nervous-nilly flies, eyeing for the swatter; the women who play coy games and give my gender a bad name; there are billboards telling me I need a boob-job, or I need to get another job, or go back to get yet another college degree, or I need to get high. I'm offended by "your" and "you're" continually. And by men who look at my chest and not my eyes (hmmm...maybe I don't need that boob-job after all!). Then there are those men who call me, a short-haired-woman, "sir." I am offended when I see children holding computer games instead of books, and batting in a caged Wii instead of dirt fields. I am offended when I see a couple at a restaurant sitting together talking, but in separate conversations on their cell phones. I am offended by inattention. I am offended by politicians, religiosity, and people who peel the skins off of their apples.
And I offend myself with my judgments. 
But really though, let me amend. I am not offended, I am opinioned.  I don't offend easily, but I very easily develop opinions.  Sometimes even offensive opinions.
If you like, read on --- to where my thoughts got me...
In losing beauty in art, we lose hope in life. In being cutting edge and shocking, just to "offend," the tension is lost. It's like lingerie. Indeed, it is the purpose of lingerie -- to be almost naked. But not. Almost shocking. But not. There is something insanely sexy about the imagination. And there is something animalistically attractive about tension. 
Art should pull the imagination taught and stretch it to belief. Art lets us live what will not be.....  
.....what cannot be.
That is why, perhaps, I still make-believe about talking animals, and magic, and wardrobes, and doors in the wall. That is why I love paintings of open fields with storms on the horizon. It isn't belief sugar-coated blind. It isn't marshmallowed happiness. Those wardrobes, they are very dark places. But if you walk long enough through coats of fur, the corpses of fears freeze, until they melt into snow -- it is still cold -- yet there is a lamp post....a lamp post...  
There is light. 
But the light can only be seen because of darkness. Because of tension. An oil lamp has no meaning in daylight. It is in the darkest night -- in the blackness that pitches my mind demons -- it is in that place that I cling to the oil lamp...to its light. It is there, covered, that I reach....for just enough light to see that yes, I am still here...
This is the truth of art, you are still here, and gives us the hope that we aren't the only ones struggling. Others are still here with you, and others have been there with you, in body and time or not. I don't need any help to be depressed, or trod down, or to feel alone. I have stimuli enough for that on my own. It comes easily. But art meets, greeting at its window with a different sill for each eye's view. Art isn't the friend that says "it will get better, don't worry." Sometimes there is a blasted lot to worry about -- and a blasted lot that should be worried about. Everything isn't ok. Everything won't be ok. No, there won't be a happy ending. But all the while art is the friend that says "this is hard, damned hard, but there is still beauty." 
Look around.....
...I am still here.

7 comments:

  1. "Bug-eye" sunglasses hide faces. Ugly face or not, they think it is an improvement.

    Was that offensive?

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  2. I'm not easily offended...confused, yes.

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  3. Clif - Nah, offensive would be if you said that YOU thought it was an improvement. But then again that would only be offensive to the woman in the sunglasses. ;) The rest of us would probably agree with you!

    Cofisher - That's a pretty good place to be!

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  4. AMEN! Great read!! Another thing that offends me is when people say the letter "O" when saying a number instead of "zero". Sharon

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  5. Love love love. I wish I could get everyone in the world to read this post. If they only read one thing for the rest of their lives I want it to be this...and I want it to sink in completely.

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