Wow, in a profound rippling thank-you thank-you way, I just read this via Graceful Presence blog and simply had to share. It gets the heart of why I care about art too:
Robert Genn, author of The Painter's Keys, is traveling and visited the Orangerie in Paris where the Claude Monet waterlily paintings are on display. He shared this experience:
I've been in these two rooms for so long that my stomach is concerned. A guard has already determined that I'm planning a heist. I'm sure she has alerted her supervisors. And then there's a man who has been in here almost as long as I. He moves from bench to bench. He has a round, friendly face and an honest smile. I find relief in pretending we have met. We talk in hushed, religious tones. He is M. LeClerc, an actuary from Poitiers, in Paris for four days. He thinks I'm an American. I tell him I'm from Canada. "What do you see here?" I ask him.
"I know nothing about art," he tells me, "But every time I come to Paris I enter these rooms. The collection was closed for some six years and Paris was very dull. These are sublime things. They are beyond words or expressions. They cannot be categorized or listed. In winter they take you to spring. They bring my boyhood and my home. Maybe God is in these things. What do I see? I see sadness and I see beauty. What else do we need? What else do we have?" His face is flushed, his eyes moist. "But then, who am I to say?" he asks. "I know nothing about art. Do you have such experiences in Canada?"
p.s. This is why I adore art (that is, art with heart...it's visceral, you are touched and moved as deeply as the artist themself dissolved into the work, and you don't learn that resonance, or recognition, in art history classes) and this is why I wish everyone would bloom into their natural artistry. And why I adore the Graceful Presence blog (definitely become one of my most precious daily visits).
images Jia Lu's Expression of Joy