The Aesthete Left A Book


He was established.  A man of substance.  A man of culture.  His books were complicated and not widely read. He had pith. He was a short man.  Insignificant one might think.  If not for meritocracy, he would have been overlooked. But he knew there was a right way and a wrong way, his mother had expectations.  He was an established thinker in modernist aesthetics.

He admired the wild thinkers.  He courted them.  He thought by being in their circle some of the magic of the wild thinker would rub off on him. Yet, he was always a small man.  Stature and character.  Some may say miniscule.  Yet, he was an aesthete who was charged with moulding the thinking of the next generation.

Established and serious aesthetics of the predictable fashion.  He left one artifact, a book.  A brilliant book worth reading:  Seeing Is Forgetting The Name of The Thing One Sees, A Life of Contemporary Artist Robert Irwin. The man was forgettable the book was not.

 

 

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Why Good Friends Matter


Audience has always been a complete conundrum for me.  I often wonder whether I need any audience at all.  Do I want an audience to expand the discussion, yes.  Do I want an audience to ratify that what I have accomplished is “good”, no.  Do I want an audience to establish myself as a player in the arena, not really.  Do I want an audience to share my frankly warm and fuzzy or anyway deeply felt feelings underneath what is visible – eg to closest of friends and family, indeed.  But I have no idea where that leads me.

Chica, my friend from graduate school, we called each other chica, don’t know how it started.  It’s thirty years later now and we are still friends.  We are very different, she is tall, I am short.  She is a Mayflower WASP American, I am an immigrant.  She is moderate politically, I am to the left side.  But, through graduate school and through the years after we kept our friendship.

This connection was not just the standard stuff of greeting cards and visits.  Actually, we went through long periods with no contact.  But, we stuck to challenging each other.  When we were thirsty for ideas, for a long conversation that meandered in and out of the movies, literature, politics, parenting, life, actually any and all ideas, no limits.  These were our touchstone moments.

In this one paragraph, she grasped what I was thinking about, my writing sometimes is not crystal clear, but she found it.  I have to say giving up the easy readership is not without trepidation but giving oneself time to noodle ideas and to re-think how to use the medium of blogging is sure what one should do from time to time.  I am of the immediate gratification school, it’s time to ponder.