Happy Birthday Dear

My wife had a birthday party today. She said it was the best birthday party she’s had since she was five years old. When I asked her why she thought that was, she said “Because it was on my own terms.” I’m glad to have done my part to help her pull it off. I have to admit it was a pretty impressive party.

The meal was salad with homemade dressing, spinach lasagna, garlic bread and cupcakes with an icing rose on each one. In attendance were her mama, daddy, brother, sister, brother-in-law, nephew, our daughter, and a couple of close friends. It was pretty amazing that we got eleven adults into our small living room.

Everyone enjoyed the food and company. The house was beautifully decorated and all cleaned up. This was no easy feat considering we have two dogs that like to strew their toys throughout the apartment.

Afterwards, we both nodded off for a short nap on the couch. Then we had a quiet Sunday afternoon watching documentaries on BBC Four. The evening is being topped off by a tour of the top nominees for the British Restoration of the Year award. They have been busy restoring landmark architectural specimens that had fallen into egregious disrepair.

Another weekend has come and gone. They pass by quicker all the time. I’m going to have to get serious about making my bucket list. Else there won’t be time to get it all done. My birthday is the end of June. I hope it is as well planned and executed as my wife’s was.

Sweet dreams, don’t forget to tell the ones you love that you love them, and most important of all, be kind.

Highfalootin Musing on Art

All artists are saying look at me. Look at what I’ve done. And beyond that, in the best of cases, they are telling a story that illuminates a particular aspect of human experience. Sometimes it is superficial and at others profound. Every artist that is honest with themselves wants to be relevant. It takes work to craft something that is both aesthetically appealing and at the same time meaningful.

Those that attempt to deconstruct art and tease deep philosophical meaning from it are on a fools errand. It is not wrong per se but it is like dissecting an animal to try to discover how it works. Art stands or falls on the basis of how well it hangs together as a whole. You can discuss how it affected you and theorize about how the artist achieved their effect but I seriously doubt that you can ever truly understand a piece completely by intellectual analysis.

Good art works on different levels. It is like a many faceted gem. You can hold it in your hand and examine it. You can see it from one perspective. You can turn it around and see it from another but there is always the other side that you can’t see preventing you from grasping it in its entirety all at once. Art has an intellectual dimension, an emotional dimension, and a philosophical dimension.

I’m not even sure you should try to analyze it. Perhaps from the perspective of an artist wanting to riff of of it but not as a critic wanting to explain it. Art is ultimately inexplicable.

On many occasions I have reexamined art after years and I usually find that it has new meaning that comes from the experiences that I have had in the intervening time. This suggests to me that the art is dependent on that which it stirs up in the observer. This is part of the intangible aspect of art that makes it defy analysis.

Sweet dreams, don’t forget to tell the ones you love that you love them, and most important of all, be kind.