. elsewhere . . letters from the inaccessible .


19 August 2001

more sunsets, channels, resonance

I was walking out of my apartment this evening to get some dinner, the hour just short of 8pm. The sky was a perfect color: textured just enough with the sparse cirrus clouds, the blues conspired away from the sun to draw my eyes. As I looked just west, toward the Westwood Gateway buildings, the sun beneath the horizon colored the sky behind them in equally perfect shades. It was a good sunset, not perfect, but it had perfect colors: colors dyed into the walls and fabric of my soul. Ten minutes later, just impersonal nighttime.

Colors, notes, resonance... I promised that I would address these things, a promise in another venue more public in a sense, but I know reasonably well who comes here: you want to know.

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Far down in our minds, hearts, and souls, we have a museum. A collection molded by God and placed within us even as we were being formed. For some, the museum houses the great plays, words of God breathed through the spectral actors whose flourishes and gestures smoke and haze in our mind. For others the museum houses a symphony hall, the harmonies of the spheres and the space between every perfect note, every perfect pause, every perfect timbre and pitch resonates within chambers of deep mahogany (for some), rich ridged acoustic fiberglass (for others), or an open-air amphitheater echoing thin, but taut and close. Still others contain multitudes of paintings in vast wings lit by soul-light, all things placed and curated by the unconscious. Galleries of sculptures, vast libraries, unimagined artworks perfect and unblemished.

No two museums are alike, but common themes crop up; this young woman who lives by a lake has a most impressive gallery of paintings, photographs, great washes of color and sound, a wing of precious books with beautiful words; that old man hears no music; that boy is yet to explore the distant collections; this young man who lives in a city has a museum in a skyscraper, art-deco brilliance and molded patterns.

He discovered at a young age that the museum is a vast arcology: equally music may make the very foundations quiver as a shade of mesa in a rainstorm bring its walls to melt in a passion uncontained. Olive stones, bright and beautiful are found in a higher gallery. In the library labor assessors, placing cost on costly words, there are only so many to use.

There is something tragic about each person's museum, but that very trait which is a tragedy is a blessing: many of the treasures that lie within are silent notes, melodic strains supported on a carrier wave of a frequency not yet noted. Many galleries lie in complete darkness. The books within the libraries are too many to ever open and examine separately. The strings of the violins, the violas, the pianos and the bass guitars are still.

This is the miracle: when a strain from Barber's Adagio for strings, or the colors fading in a summer sunset come into the music hall or gallery, the strings resonate and come alive, and now that note which we never knew was so right can weaken our knees. This internal museum is a template for beauty, and some react more strongly to music, some to emotive faces, some to a splash of paint on canvas.

We do indeed contain multitudes.

This man who houses his beauty in a skyscraper reacts and feels the perfect colors on the walls of his galleries, feels the perfect notes in the atria of his heart. He is moved by everything. The windows and paths to the building are channels which feed the colors straight into the paintings, mold form directly into the sculptures, and caress a string until it vibrates at a perfect pitch. But loneliness is a lack of a certain abstract instrument, a waveform absent from each item in each collection, so that now the sunset is beautiful and melancholy on the collection walls, the note is perfect and sad resonating in the rich atmosphere of the music hall.

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Cypress trees leaning and reaching over a soft-sandy beach in the sunset were beautiful, and if I listened closely, that missing instrument, that absent melody was there: just beautiful, nothing more.

Tonight, the sunset was beautiful and melancholy, the notes I'm listening to are perfect and sad. However, the melancholy and the sadness are not internal to the system: they are the formal and known absence of a precious thing.

musings of señor prod.

The Revolution revolves, the world turns.


©2001 Timothy A. Clark -|-