Welcome back to a new Secondary Sunday.
Today we will talk about… About…
I guess today we will talk about art
Let me tell you some things about art. Art is beautiful and soft and cold and wet and horrifying. Art can stick to the roof of your mouth if you’re not careful. It can slide down your throat and make you feel like maybe home is not as far away as it was before.
I have been home. I have been someone’s home. I have been my own home.
But I have never been art. Art demands something from people, but in a passive yet unrelenting way.
Art demands that you look, that you understand, and pay attention and learn. Art makes you feel things that make no sense. Makes you understand things about yourself you don’t want to understand.
You know someone like that. Or maybe you don’t, maybe you think you do but in fact that might be a lie.
I guess by this point you are used to the lies. The ones you tell and the ones other people tell you.
This person didn’t want to lie to you, or to anyone for that matter.
You understand that sometimes we reach a point in which lying and our lives are not completely under our control.
This person is like art because they demand that you understand them in a soft way. They don’t need your understanding or even your attention, but you do.
Do you remember them?
You walked by their store once. There were different sized hand prints along the outer walls. You remember, because you paused for a couple of minutes to admire a child sized yellow hand print placed right beside a lime green paw print. It was interesting because the paw print was almost as big as the child’s hand. It was interesting because it told a story.
You like stories.
You like objects that are able to hold stories.
You often talk about the memory of objects and how much they are able to retain. You don’t talk to other people though. You talk to yourself. You talk to me. Thought often times you don’t know that you are talking to me.
You talked to that wall. You touched it with uncertain fingertips and shaking hands. It wasn’t cold that day, far from that, and you didn’t know why you were shaking.
There were other hands there, but only those two caught your eye.
As you stared, you didn’t notice another pair of eyes looking. It wasn’t the usual pair of eyes. It wasn’t someone taking note of you mental and emotional health to make sure you weren’t going to become a problem to society.
This person stared at you in the way people often stare at a piece of fiction, or art. They wanted to understand you, they wanted to see beyond what you were portraying. They wanted to learn and relearn your story.
They were often being looked at by several pairs of eyes… These eyes stared at her the way the first pair of eyes stared at you.
They were more complex and susceptible than you will ever be. What’s been done to them is far worse than what will ever be done to you.
You don’t drift away for as long or as far away as they do. And that is fine. That is perfect.
Keep it that way.
They don’t cry anymore.
Make sure you cry.
… You were crying that day. You had tears in your eyes as you stared at the story a wall would never be able to tell, and would forever keep.
While you traced the story that would never be, you were being stared at by someone who, just like art, has no birth or story, only an origin.
You didn’t notice them hiding behind long pieces of fabric hanging from the ceiling. They were holding pencils and sketch books in perpetually stained hands.
You don’t know their story because their story is not relevant to you. You will not live or die because you know it.
They might live or die, if you know their story.
It is important that you do not know their story.
They know this. They don’t care about this.
They have spent a lifetime not caring about this or anything else. They have built a wall around them and everything inside them just not to care about any of it.
You don’t know anything about walls and pieces of fabric. You know something about pain and longing that others didn’t need to teach you.
They had to be taught that.
You will need to be taught many things.
You will not understand many things. You probably don’t understand much of anything right now. Maybe you are wondering a lot of things right now.
I will ask you to stop wondering things right now.
You have a life. You don’t need a small studio covered in other people’s stories and memories. You need your own life.
You don’t have to wander around the world barely even making a sound with your feet, because sound is for people and you’re not sure you are that anymore. You don’t need to be the only memory people forget.
You don’t need to be forgotten.
So let’s talk about art. Let’s talk about the way art moves and stays, how it demands nothing but wants everything. Art doesn’t need things but it desperately wants them.
It wants to be remembered. It wants to be more than a memory.
Above all Art wants to move, and be, and hope, and live.
But Art is dead. Art cannot move like you do. Art can only look, and wonder, and hide.
You can never know Art, and Art can never know you.
But it tries. It’s important that you don’t.
Don’t be Art.
Art can never understand you. Art can never live.