Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | June 25, 2014

Life Is Art

Visited the renovated Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, VA

Visited the renovated Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, VA

Last week I saw the traveling National water color paintings at the Peninsula Fine Arts Center and visited the renovated Chrysler Museum. Time well spent, especially at the Chrysler in Norfolk. I’m going to go back there to get even a greater return on the time spent. The Art is worthy of time. Few things in life merit the time spent with Art.

Life is Art.

This double entendre goes beyond the life imitates art and art imitates life equations. Life is Art.

We humans may breath for years, build for centuries, know about the millennia and beyond, believe in the eternal, but we live in the moment. We really live in just a moment. Sometimes very intense seconds.

Our greatest joy was a moment. We feel the joy for much longer, but it was experienced in fleeting time.

Art is experienced, like utter joy and complete disappointment, life and death, and everything in between, in a moment. Art is seen in the twinkling of an eye, or better said in the French – dans un coup d’oeil.

In that instant more than beauty meets the eye. More than skill or craftsmanship stand out. We feel, sense, and react to the power of art.

Art has power. Art moves humans. As ideas motivate the mind, art stirs the soul.

And Art is more than the visual arts. Music, poetry and prose can be art. Some say architecture and clothes are art. I’ll draw the line at food as art – and may be in the minority. Nature is God’s created art.

Romans 1:20. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

Yet, people see the natural world around them and don’t perceive a God created such art or they don’t see the art at all.

Art, like all beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

As I went through the Chrysler Museum, I knew in an instant what my late wife would say about almost everything I saw. There were a number of pieces where I wanted to hear the whole of her comments – for or against the art. There were a few pieces where I knew should go either way. I’d have loved to hear her comments.

I knew her likes and dislikes like I knew everything about her. I heard her mood in one syllable of one word. She knew me as well. When I tried to cover my emotions, even over the phone, she found them out immediately.

We knew each other completely and intimately.  I was my beloved’s.  My beloved is mine.  We still are. My wife is gone. Our love isn’t. Love can be far stronger than death.

Yet, love like art and beauty is different for every human. Different kinds of love – eros, philos, agape and family – like art are experienced uniquely by each person.

I’m sorry for people who don’t experience art. I’m even sadder for people who haven’t or won’t experience love. My cup of empathy and sympathy runneth over for folks who lost their love. My joy runs to those who find love again.

More is the pity for those who miss God in Nature’s art. They’re less likely to understand how life becomes art, life is art, because God is life. And, God is love.

Or, say it the other way.

The one, only, true, living God – Father, Son and Holy Ghost – of the Holy Bible is love. Love everlasting. From everlasting to everlasting. Love eternal.

God created all life in love. Life is lived moment to moment as art is experienced in the moment. Life is like art. Life is art – in its power, strength and majesty.

And God made life to be eternal – to go beyond living here. Love is evidence of the eternal. Love transcends death for those who breath. Love continues in an eternal life beyond here – for those saved to be with God.

Love can be more powerful than death.

I look forward to going back to the Chrysler Museum. Lingering in many moments of art. Living the life of the moment and in the life eternal. Connected by love.

I’d like to see a lot more art in my life.   I like being near beauty.  It was good to be out and about – feel alive.

New art, at least new to me, reminded me of something said in Christian lovingkindness at the Republican Convention a few weeks ago. A buddy of mine, who was a young widower with 4 small children, shared his story with me. His devoutly Christian grandmother told him that we struggle to see how to add love in life, but when God adds another in love, like when you have another child, He multiplies. God multiplies love.

Grieving, actually, is teaching me so.

Nellie and I would have talked quite a bit about what we liked in this piece of art.

Nellie and I would have talked quite a bit about what we liked in this piece of art.

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