Monday, June 16, 2014

Mahal Kita

"Has it ever struck you that making a work of art is a very odd and unnatural activity? Let us have a look at the painter: a creature created out of dust takes dust of various colors and with them creates something quite apart from himself and, what is even stranger, something that seems to have no practical use."                ~William S. Heckscher, art historian and artist
I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
~T.S. Eliot, The Wasteland

Art is indeed a very odd and unnatural activity. It creates meaning and beauty out of dust. If I were writing a novel, I might have tried to stop Curt from resigning from his job, selling his house and leaving the country to follow his tropical bliss on the other side of the planet, never to be seen again. There would be a declaration of love, a conversation, consummation, a fight, something. In fiction, I would enjoy a scene.

          But there's no escaping the end when he leaves for good. As long as he is he and I am I, he leaves. The beginning always contains the end. Without the formula of a good story—a classic five-act dramatic structure consisting of exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and dénouement, or the basic three-part structure with setup, conflict, and resolution—our dramatic arc just tapers off.


          He knows I'm sad but swiftly changes the subject, cracks a joke. I know he loves me only because of how he sometimes signs his emails. He doesn't know I googled Mahal kita; it means I love you in Tagalog. 

          And unlike the the impractical domain of art—with its sleek, astonishing self-contained worlds, suspended in frozen time between the brackets of a frame or the covers of a bookin this world time goes on and there's nothing we can do about it.

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