. elsewhere . . letters from the inaccessible .


17 April 2001

on beauty

... beauty is not a need but an ecstasy. / It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty hand stretched forth, / But rather a heart enflamed and a soul enchanted.
    -- from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

A few days back, a dear friend said she didn't understand my notion of beauty, and asked me, "what is beautiful?" I thought about it for several feverish seconds, until a thought struck me. I don't remember exactly how I answered, but I think what I said was on to something... Here is a paraphrase of my extemporaneous response (as well as I can recall):

beauty is compelling, it's magnetic. beauty isn't just what is whole, but it is what is incomplete in all the right ways. beauty defies complication, subtle in its complexity, elegant in its simplicity. beauty doesn't make logical sense, but it is right in a million ways that 2+2=4 is not.

Then, this morning, I remembered the Gibran lines above. It has been a brutal day all told, and though what I said pales in comparison to Gibran's amazing words, "a heart enflamed and a soul enchanted" (makes me dizzy knowing how true that is...), I hope my answer captured something of what it is, and how I see it.

I then answered the question in another way, and all of the meaning and the weight and the truth behind what I said above is there to back it up. My heart is enflamed, my soul enchanted.

miranda envisioned, part two of three or so

just the sketch

So last night, I went out to Patty's apartment for a bit of conversation, some displays of my atrocious handwriting, and to pick up her lovely painting of Of Cities and Deserts. Unfortunately, both Patty and I are among the bereft of camera, and the painting (a very nice triptych which she painted in one feverish night to complete for a final project) barely fit in my station wagon, so dropping that baby onto her scanner was right out.

The image you see here is actually part of a preliminary sketch which Patty sent to me, and I was floored. She didn't want to show it, and Patty, I apologize for any breach in etiquette by posting this sketch, but I felt that showing this portion of the image is better than nothing today. The painting itself will have to wait until I have a camera by which I can photograph the painting, which is huge (Patty, correct me if I'm wrong). It's 3 frames of 24x36, ultimately 3 feet tall and 6 feet wide.

Ultimately, the face in the painting is much less severe than the one here in the sketch, but the overall feel is much the same, and the colors and little shards of cracked mirror she used for Miranda's necklace (what a nice touch!) are fantastic. Patty truly has a knack for expressive eyes in her paintings... and I can't say enough how flattering it is to see a poem of mine inspire someone else to a work of art.

To digress for a moment, I'm giving in and buying myself a digital camera, that I may make the bold move into keeping visual memories on a medium outside my brain. It's a bit pricey, but what the hell. (I'll make another less cryptic reference in the next entry on my recent high-volume, bowel-shaking purchase.)

feeling is believing

forgive the shoddy photoshop job...

A week ago sunday, I went out and completed the bass rig, an artist's rendition of which can be seen to the right. Please forgive the shoddy photoshop work, as I had to deal with 3 separate product images with photographs that had 3 very different perspectives. Ugh. To make a long story even longer, I'll tell you why I was pleasantly surprised by my deal with Doug at the Guitar Center in Sherman Oaks.

I went into the Guitar Center on a mission. I knew what I wanted and I knew what I wanted to pay for it. Of course, playing the aloof buyer, I asked if I could try out a rig with the "Son of Bertha" 1x15 cabinet in it, just to see how it sounded; preferably, one which also had a "Goliath Junior III" 2x10 cabinet as well, as that was the other cabinet I had already. I played bass for a few minutes and told Doug, "Well, I think I like it. Do you have one in stock?" He checked, and discovered that, despite what I'd been told earlier, there was not another 1x15 in the store, only the floor model. I was about ready to leave when Doug offered a very surprising option: He would take $30 off the cabinet, allow me to take the floor model home, and special order me a new cabinet. When the new cabinet comes in, I can exchange it and still have the discount. I was flabbergasted, as this was a level of customer service I hadn't seen from Guitar Center (big conglomerate that it is) since, well, ever.

That night, and this last sunday night, I spent with Million Dollar Jo and Dr. Kane, jamming some songs and getting ready to record a demo for clubs to get gigs. I was pounding 350 watts of bass into the practice room, full and strong, and my amp was barely ticking over, the limiter light barely winking on with a strong note. The sight and sound of this wonderful rig is stirring, indeed, and pushing it a little harder might stir one's organs right out of their proper bodily cavities.

Of course, between this, the digital camera, and the PDA I still want to buy, I'm spending an awful lot of money. I realize, though, that if the situation were different, there would be a lot of money going to purchase beautiful things that end up in other places. I don't truly need any of these things, but who do I have to spend such lavish amounts on right now but myself?

Did that last bit sound bitter? I guess it was, a little bit. I'd just as soon have bought gifts for someone beautiful rather than toys for me, but that's not my place, that's not part of the situation. There goes my IRS refund.

musings of señor prod.

You say you want a Revolution? Well you know, we all want to change the world.


©2001 Timothy A. Clark -|-