Living in France has opened my eyes to an artful way of living. It has shown me depth of color in the celebration of seasons, layers of textured history, and that day to day life is like applying paint on a canvas, our actions and feelings are brush strokes.
While at the Musee d' Orsay I noted the little details; the corner of paintings, the scenes within the scene. I noted the reflection of light, the movement of the moment caught and held up as an example... to reflect of that which is at hand, the beauty of the small things that are often overlooked.
Living an artful life: To put my habits and attitudes in my back pocket. To absorb that which is around me, let it soak in over time and recolor my days. To take an entire afternoon at a cafe with one glass of wine and let the sun take its time to move over my head.
As I didn't speak French when I first arrived in France, I spent an endless amount of time listening. Though what I came to realized it wasn't just words I was listening to. Listening for me had more to do with seeing... observing the unconscious language of the body. Most of the time I understood the conversation though could not repeat one word which had been spoken. Isn't it like that when we listen, we hear the heart which often speaks without uttering a word.
A girl by a window. Her dress, like the curtain in front of the window barely concealing what is inside. Her lips are closed, her regard...what is she thinking? That is how I started to learn French. Instead of asking myself, what are they saying? I started to look at them and wonder what are they thinking, or what are they feeling.
Have you ever noticed hands speak without measure. Words can be guarded, but hands and eyes speak the depth of feeling, the truth.
Often with nothing is being said, the hands and eyes keep on speaking.
Another thing I started to paid attention to was how others handle d' objects, how they used things. Their movements like a dance spoke of either hurriedness, a-quick-two-step and get the job done. Or they moved with a grace, a gentleness, an awareness to things around them... and if they were struggling with contained emotion, their actions could resemble the tango. Paying attention to how someone moved, how they set a table, how they ate their meal, how they carried themselves, made me more aware of my own actions and what message was I giving out.
Ah the importance, yes importance to setting the table, writing a note by hand, baking a cake, ironing the shirt, saying thank you, opening the door for another, letting someone go in front of us, the not eating the last cookie, the taking out the garbage, not jumping to conclusions, letting someone hog the blankets....
Those little things count, like many other things speak volumes. They color the world around us.
"Life imitating art is the reverse of the normal process whereby art is made to resemble life. The concept derives from an Oscar Wilde aphorism, "Life imitates art far more than art imitates Life."
Layers upon layers, stories within stories, love mixed with odd bits that create an artist to sing and stir another with their words and bring healing. Or paint a picture that puts an experience in place.... Day by day we are painting our lives, on each other's canvas.
What color are you today?
Note: Photos taken while at the Musee d'Orsay in Paris.