Wednesday, 13 April 2011

"All the Alcoved Windows of the World"

Detroit, 3.30. p.m. Yet another empty afternoon spent at the office, rummaging in these papers. Every corner of my desk buried under these useless forms, time, precious time stolen from me. My precious time! Raindrops still echoing inside my head: tap, tap, tap! Light, shadow and every moment in-between. Shadow. Click. Tomorrow, leaving early. Find an excuse, skip lunch. Long walk to 5200 Woodward Avenue. The Detroit Institute of Arts. Seeing them again: The Intuitive Eye. It does not matter that there are so many untitled artworks. Untitled? What does that mean anyway, a name? Mine is meaningless. I like this place so much. I like the shade. So welcoming.

As long as I feel the fresh breeze in my hair
And see the sun shining strong on the leaves*    
The calmness. The remoteness. I saw a photographer last week. She stayed a very long time, wandering through the alleys with her camera. What was she looking for in this park? The light? The shadow? Perhaps, she was hoping to catch that shard of unexpected light that appears after a rainstorm?  I heard that photographers are in-between people. They see the intervals between things. The slanting light of a late afternoon, raking across the wet grass, the sudden window in the darkened sky. A window in the sky: its invisible frame and the trees outside look wind-whipped. Everything is alive, moving. Gently moving in the sultry air.

Life. Click.  Mine is a riddle to me. Like a dream saw from afar. A blurred picture. Sometimes, I am inside the picture frame, feeling everything in every way. Other times, just fading away. And where no light falls, the shadows are melancholic in their opacity. This is the order of things. No foreseeable denouement for any of us, just the fleeting glimpse of our presence, the "sunlight of the sun on the side of a house". Here and now. This bench under the tree foliage, so lonely and haunting. I had to come back. See the light again, the muted colors of this place. Had to just be for a while. The photographer is back too, now. Perhaps, she is the one I should emulate? The Intuitive Eye. Hers are so hopeful, creating small epiphanies, windows from within.

Light, subdued. Click. Detroit, 9 p.m. Time to go. The sky, now ominous. It will rain soon: tap, tap, tap!

What better thing could destiny grant me?
Other than the sensual passing of life in moments
Of ignorance such as this one?*      
I can see now. I can see all the alcoved windows of the world.

* Heteronyms II: Nothing Inside of Nothing, from Odes, Ricardo Reis (Fernando Pessoa) in Fernando Pessoa & Co., Grove Press, 1998

Image: courtesy of Patricia Lay-Dorsey, to whom I here warmly express my gratitude for letting me use her artwork.

TITLE: Through Edward Hopper's Eyes #7
SERIES: Image is part of a series called "Light and Shadow." It can be seen in its entirety on:
DATE: September 16, 2007
SETTINGS: ISO 400, Aperture f/11, Exposure 1/400 second, no flash

1 comment:

  1. My goodness, Ariane, what an artist you are with words! You paint your thoughts and feelings with flashes of color and dots of black ink scattered on the page. I am inside your head and heart, seeing the world through your artist's eyes. Such a powerful gift that you share so freely. Thank you for letting me participate in the magic.