Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Lady in Red

One of the greatest gifts this life has given me is the opportunity to experience art in a multitude of simple, intricate, realistic and abstract forms. In both creation and admiration I have molded the segments of my psyche to form the solid and compound substance of who I am.

Many are the recollections that I have of tromping through art museums with Mom. We would center our vacations together around art exhibits, and absorb the aura of the city which the art was housed as almost a sideline, a pesky detail. A game turned habit, we would create abstruse stories of the masterpiece before us, the story of the illustration, the story of the person who put it down. The majestic sterile museum air would fill with dense laughter as we decided that the Mona Lisa was actually watching porn, you could see it in her eyes. I didn't think about it until now, but in this game Mom was also handing me a magnificent coping skill to deal with the grief of losing her some day. One thing that connected us so deeply was our grand appreciation for art and it's powerful ability to change, possibly verify, a thought. In some cases, change a life. What a beautiful contribution that art makes to our world to open itself to opinion, perspective and honest interpretation exactly from the eyes of the beholder only.

All that being said, it brings me to the story of the Lady in Red. There was a benefit in my community for a local deli that was having rough times. Many artists graciously dedicated their works of art to an auction to support their cause, and in return the shop would transform any cash donations to food donations to the homeless. Any one who knows me, you know I would not miss this event, art combined with community is possibly my favorite recipe for hope. Add altruism to the mix, and I am hopelessly attracted!

I was so impressed by the quality of work that was donated to the auction, I marveled for hours, of course making up stories about all the work laid out across the deli counters.

When I came to the Lady in Red, this was what I decided about her: "She is a vibrant, passionate and strong woman. She loves intensely. She is comfortable in independence, yet shocked at suddenly having to exercise solitude at the fullest. Sometimes her light actually creates the darker shadows that surround her, but that is ok, she is just trying to find her place in the newness of recognizing the shadow that invisibly and secretively became one with her. She is dressed for the party, but there is a deep grief inside her that keeps her from actually stepping in. She wants to step in, but for the first time ever, she does not know how, she just needs to make amends with the changes first. She will be fine, she is just dramatically adjusting to things in her life that happened that she had not dreamed of yet."

I went on and created stories for about 3 other paintings before I realized that I just fully described myself in the Lady in Red. My physical characteristics look nothing like her, but it was almost like the artist (Lance Green) had stolen my soul and attached it to her. The big difference was, is that it had never honestly occurred to me that I was going to be okay after the loss after loss after loss in my life the previous year. There was a unexplained comfort that overcame me in believing that she was going to be strong enough to step back into the party, so to say. For the first time, I truly believed deep inside my heart that I would be okay, too.

The most miraculous thing to me is that color mixed with fiber could lead me to conclusions that never crossed my mind before they were introduced to me in this fashion. How powerful and spiritual the connection when you truly let your mind open to the stories of "what if" presented to you with intentions that might be completely different than what the artist had personally processed in creation, but they put it out there for you to perceive in whatever way you wish. How honest and infinite would our lives be if we could see everything as art and therefore possibility? And, how fortunate am I that the universe worked with me, and the Lady in Red is always now with me to remind me of this every single day?

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