Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Flesh and Blood on 14th St.
14th Street in Manhattan is an exhausting, dreamlike space of suggestive and discordant sights that seem logical at the time. It’s a stream of consciousness made from flesh and blood.
While walking through this steam, I thought of a recent dinner party. Over calamari, roast duck and red wine, a friend brightened and asked what to date had been most surprising about my trip. “I forgot my body”, I said without thinking. “When planning the trip, the thing was all in my head. I forgot to consider how my body would react”.
I made nearly twice as many successful paintings in the Caribbean as I did in the arctic or the rainforest because my body was comfortable. In the arctic, I was stressed by carrying 50 lbs of gear across difficult terrain and in the rainforest, I was bedeviled by the heat and the humidity. In the Caribbean, however, my body was happy, so I was more productive. Contrary to popular myth, creativity does not require suffering. Abundance of anything, whether it be paintings, potatoes or human spirit, develops when the conditions for growth are optimal. With this in mind, sustainable designs that promote the quality of life should be celebrated and ancient ideologies rooted in threat and suffering should be reconsidered.
I arrived in New York City over Easter weekend. This should be a joyful celebration of strengthening sun and a fresh season. Instead, Easter is flavored with blood sacrifice. I don’t believe in a God who demands the torture and death of his only son to appease his anger over human failings. Moreover, ritualized cannibalism in the form of communion does not instill me with hope. The snowbells that are shivering in the March air are much more reassuring signs of the persistence and the potential of life. There is no afterlife. Being here, sentient in this sensual world, is what we have and it is enough.
Hope comes from this world. It is something that we make because we need it like food. Perhaps it is time to find hope in new places like 14th St., where young and old bodies, all vibrant in time and space, are a celebration of the season and testament enough.
Posted by Mike Glier at 12:39 PM