Tuesday, October 7, 2014
The Work of Art
I was driving home last week after a long day teaching and thinking when one of these rare fall storms moved across the city. The rains split time and space with brilliant sunlight, sometimes crafting rainbows. I was pulled out of my distracted reverie as I drove into one.
Rain drops clung to the windshield and glittered like sapphires when the sun shone between the clouds. A street still wet from the passing storm smelled of water and creosote as cars slurped along on their way to important business.
I would have missed it, but happened to open my window.
(Summer in Tucson is usually spent behind glass in air conditioning. Cars act like rolling greenhouses and make really good saunas without A/C. It is forgivable to drive too much with the windows tight. )
So there it was. Rain. Light. Sound. Smell.
I just had to notice.
And, in that moment, I forgot what I was worried about. All the ho-hum stuff of money and work and stress and what I don't yet have but feel that I need or else I'm going to waste my life.
It was luscious.
It was instructive too. Unless I work at clearing away the chatter and clutter in order to just notice what is going on in front of me, I spend my days trapped in my head.
The work of art is to get out of the head and into the world.
It's a day-to-day, moment-to-moment undertaking that requires effort, focus, and intention.
It is not always romantic, nor is the domain of a privileged, talented few.
It is the birthright of the soul.
I kept the window down until rain soaked me and my seat. The sensual respite woke something sleeping. I have forgotten that I am here to enjoy the world while I can, while I draw breath.
I have learned too well to look away and wonder when I might be able to produce a work of art.