I didn’t necessarily come to see you. I had no clue you were there. But there you were: amidst a collection of beauty and wonder I glance across the room and see you. Unexpectedly, my heart and mind react as if I were seeing a familiar stranger. Somehow I know you, although we’ve never truly met. My heart flutters questioning if you could actually be there. I turn away, coyly, somewhat embarrassed by my excitement over the benign act seeing you, a “mere” piece of art, albeit one of my favorite pieces, in actual person. From across the room I glance over to see you again, selfishly hoping that those standing in from of you would walk away so I could get a better second glance. I am slightly jealous; they don’t get you like I do, I arrogantly think to myself. As they walk away, I start towards you, half-heartedly observing some of the other pieces in your path as if playing some childish flirtatious game I probably would have played in high school. The path finally clears and I glide over to you, holding my breath, not knowing how to approach you. I stand close to you at first, my eyes going over you quickly as I try to actually come to terms with the fact that I am actual standing before you – trying to contain my excitement. I came to see Monet, who inspires me to accept my obsessions, but to serendipitously encounter you, my Dali…
So, seeing you, “Apparition of Face and Fruit Dish on a Beach”, my first Dali piece I see in person, an image I have related to only in books, really blows my mind. I’ve always felt connected to you and many of Dali’s other pieces. For me, you provide a satisfaction and a completion difficult to find in everyday life. I remember, as a child, realizing I thought and saw the world differently – essentially we all do. However, to see images like yours look so much like the ones that both blessed and haunted my mind - especially my dreams now and my night terrors as a child make me feel momentarily understood. Your imagery reminds me of how I think, how I could easily get lost in that world of thought and how I have spent so much time avoiding the very thoughts and images that personify me because of their lack of practicality. These are images, because of my schedule; I happily and secretly visit during the most amazing and personal moments in my day such as I drift off to sleep. Just last night cascade emerged from the light of a half-drawn curtains and the warm hue of an evening lit room transformed into a pale sunrise in a fall forest – where stenciled trees grew quickly into the scenery that began with watercolor splashes of amber and gold. Silhouettes consistently regenerated to become landscapes, then peaceful faces – beautiful children, and then as the images transformed into deformities I jolted up out of my half awaken state to shake it all off.
Doesn’t everyone see the world like this? Can’t everyone sit at a café, stare off and see real situations manifest themselves into charcoal sketches that disappear with a blow of the wind? Can’t everyone see stark shadow or harsh light and distort faces and people making them both beautiful and indistinguishable? It can be overwhelming at times to see so much and not know how to share it – so at times I shut it off. I recently have been conscious of attempting to reignite the passion these images ignite in me and it is allowing me to “see” so much more once again. I am once again beginning to understand that not everything needs to be practical or explained. Although in this case, I dare try.
My eyes very slowly slid over your components, as if it were my fingers are feeling each individual stroke that comprise you; Tiny lines holding more colors and depth than I could conceivably measure. Strokes whose textures I memorize and revisit the way one recalls at the way the sparks of light bounce in the eyes of a lover. I look at your elements, wanting to consume your profoundness in its entirety but knowing I can’t nor should. As my vision mimics the desire of my sense of touch, I feel you with my eyes - how each line must feel, and thus how it feels and speaks just to me. Your face and goblet satisfy my thirst to relate yet remain obscure. You are complex and I could spend an entire lifetime revisiting you, marveling in your beauty and the intricacy and symbolism behind each of your fragments - always finding something new to help me understand myself as I understand you and our elusive world just a little bit more.
You show me pain, fear, beauty, joy, compassion and solitude through what may be seen as a collection of arbitrary objects. But aren’t we the product of the arbitrary objects in our own worlds? I think of myself and objects in my childhood, smells, textures, moments, dreams, and people that shaped who I am in ways no one could ever understand and I relate to you. These are mostly intangible now but engrained in my heart with as much texture as each stroke I see in you. I think about how memories are fragmented and at times even zoomed in to just show a piece of the moment – open for your own definition of it.
The pink plastic ballerinas that held my birthday candles for every cake throughout my childhood although I can’t remember one single birthday gift I ever received. The cracks in my dad’s left hand; how and how light seemed to seep under a door to invite me into the world. My green rocking chair when I was a baby and the wonderful feeling I experienced in my stomach whenever I sat and rocked in it. The smell of anis tea in the morning, the staleness of the factory buildings, and Saint Lucy’s eyes staring at me from the charm hanging around my grandmother’s chest. The wooden angel I stared at as I drifted to sleep hoping I would be spared a nightmare that evening.
Seeing you is looking into the eyes and soul of someone I love and swimming in the reflection. I feel momentarily understood, complete. After starring, feeling, consuming you in my mind and my heart, I know I must walk away, at least for now. Revisiting my flirtation or more honestly my connection with you in my mind; I wish I could take you home and stare at you forever – seeing myself in you and seeing something new every single time. Although in a really interesting way, I know I carry a snapshot of you in a pocket in my heart.