Monday, January 27, 2014

Art vs. Reality, continued


Not that one cancels out or opposes the other. Still, I had an unexpected conversation at a reading of a
poetry series that I help curate (is that the word?). An otherwise clear-headed man asserted to me that the only reality worth bothering about was that of Art (capital letter in his voice). Note, please:  I am far from being someone who downplays the power of art/Art, or for that matter the power and importance of the inner personal realm. At a time when my outer life was downright bleak, the promises made by Art and the perception of Beauty did give me hope and did help me slog on. Similarly, a rich and meaningful inner life sustained me for years. However, how can we say that the outer world is unimportant? As long as we live in bodies, as long as we live in communities, societies, we had better take account of the events around us. If our taking account includes perceiving beauty and meaning, so much the better.

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