I have a very bizarre way of measuring my personal productivity. Typically, the measure of my success is in how many completed knits are on the shelves in the cupboard (or on my person), and this is normally very satisfying. But lately, I’ve felt more and more that, you know, still being in school and all, it should depend more upon what kind of writing I produce, what sorts of academic breakthroughs I have. And luckily, today snapped me out of a horrible fog.
For some reason, this semester I’ve hit a major slump and feel as if my mind is a million miles away and that I have no grasp on articulation, and all the facts fluttering around my brain are out of reach when I need them most. Perhaps it’s because I don’t have anyone in my major that I can talk about things with, I guess, keep my mind sharp and my thoughts/theories practiced. Chewing Scott’s ear off only gets me so far before his eyes glaze over and I can tell that he’s thinking about how to end the conversation instead of exploring it further.
But then an assignment comes along and pulls me back to where I should be. I was dreading a modern art assignment that asked us to choose one image and explore it. I cannot narrow things down to ones. I always fall upon several flights of fancy and pursue them equally, love them all, hold onto them tightly and immerse myself completely in them. However, today I landed on not only one painting that works for the assignment, but fell into a deep canal of thought and inspiration.
Lee Krasner, White Squares (1948)
Inspiration and productivity came in the form of a visit from Lee Krasner. For so long I’ve aspired to explore the artists of my home region, and having known about the mystique surrounding Pollock and Krasner, have always wanted to get to know them better. I’m getting the opportunity to do so right now, but in doing so, I’m finding so many more avenues that I’d like to travel down. I haven’t wanted to get so intimate with a specific artist in a long time, and am beyond thrilled that I’ve been given this chance. There is a lot of work ahead of me, but I’m so excited for it. I feel like myself again. I don’t know where I was all this time.
Also, for the sake of posterity, I had to write a little something about a recent trip to the MFA. Mom and Yiaya came up for a day and we visited the Titian, Tintoretto, and Veronese exhibition. It was beyond stunning–but that’s something for another day. It was Yiaya’s first museum visit in her life, and I was appalled that in all the years living so close to New York City and some of the best museum’s in the world, she had never been inside of one. It made me feel like a terrible grandchild for never offering to bring her with me. She literally walked around with her jaw open, constantly gasping at what was before her. It was like watching a child, the innocence and purity with which she looked at art that I’ve become so accustomed to, almost desensitized to. She appeared to be on the verge of tears, and said, “It was as if I was asleep for my whole life, and I just woke up.” And that, right there, reinforced why I’m studying what I’m studying. Because art can have that effect on people. I hope that someday I can be in the position to share that feeling with as many people as possible.