February 11th, 2004

Communing with Nature and Art

Communing with Nature is the kind of thing Romantic poets, like William Wordsworth, did. If you have a taste for architecture, on the other hand, you can commune with skyscrapers, also to great effect. And some of us like to do both. A house like Wright's Fallingwater gives us the chance to admire architecture and nature in one integrated experience. My problem with Fallingwater, the last time I was there, was a guide who just kept talking. All the blab interfered with my ability to just experience the place. I like my experience of visual beauty to be word free, at first. The words can be dealt with afterward. Have you been to one of those museum exhibits, where you are given a headset to listen to comments on each painting? I like those, but not at first. What I try to do is make a complete pass of the exhibit first in blessed silence, alone with the work. Then I make my second pass with the headphones on, just to see what they had to say, but without infringing on my own quality time with the work involved. After all, the artist went to great effort to create something which he or she intended to stand on its own and to communicate on its own. Why not give it a chance to do its job?

Rhyme of the day:

Tour guides chant.
Your brain goes numb.
Blabbing is violence.

Give beauty a chance
To strike you dumb.
Worship in silence.