Saturday, October 4, 2008

Support the Arts: Go native

Tam's post, The natives are reluctant..., ties in with an idea I've been struggling to get into type.

There's always something to explore. Any day when I'm compelled to sit around being bored . . . well, I don't have such days. People are blessed with free will. They can choose to not be bored. It simply takes a little effort, usually less than what one expends bitching about boredom.

Robert Capa, well-known photojournalist, said ""If your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough." It reminds me of the same problem when we lack appreciation of our surroundings. We're not getting close enough. So keeping Capa in mind, I've learned how to get closer. A field of soybeans ready for harvest seems bland until one gets close enough to see the intricate bristles of a single pod. Trees are something to convert into fence posts and firewood until I pause, look closer, and discover the art evident in a particular one.

Lichen on tree bark doesn't seem like much. Surely it can't entertain or teach us. Unless we go native, look closer and cast off the comtempt we hold for familiarity. Kunstformen der Natur, or Art Forms of Nature, a 1904 collection of prints by German biologist Ernst Haeckel, yields this illustration of lichen. It's proof that one doesn't have to travel thousands of miles, say to the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, to see stunning art.

Go native, troll round home, or look deep into the eyes of someone you've taken for granted too long. You'll find magic. Share it with others, too, like Capa and Haeckel.

1 comment:

phlegmfatale said...

My back yard is full of the cradles on which old petroleum tanks rested, (I call them my Henge) and last week I was looking very closely at some lichen as the pups romped in the cool dry air. It was like intensely green teeny little flowers. Yes, looking closer is often merited.

Too bad everything doesn't improve thusly with closer scrutiny.