I want to say that I saw the first Mondrian in
I took a theory of modern art class and was abysmally stupid in it. I was lost. I was confused. I wasn't nearly bright enough, nor pretentious enough to be there.
The professor always asked me questions about the "American South."
"So. Tell us, Ms. Academic, about the trouble and turmoil that is the American South.
"No, sir, I cannot. I have not spent an incredible amount of time in any of those places; so no, I cannot speak about them. But I do know a little bit about the Matisse paintings in the Baltimore Museum of Art. I am from a town near there."
"We don't need to know that. I know all about that. I know all about the Cohn sisters and their, how shall we say, eccentric collection. You'll say nothing new."
" Very well, sir."
Yes. He was that much of a prick.
After writing a decent paper on theories of color and shoving it under his office door, I ran for
I stood in front of one very much like this one:
And I knew that slides had failed me. (They fail you every time.) The pomposity and, of course, learning that exuded from the professor (who would have killed to use his Oxford PhD somewhere better than my adopted school) failed and angered me.
I saw the painting finally. And I saw the brush strokes and the care that went into this painting, this geometry. And the colors. The tears rolled down my cheeks.
Early this week, I had a difficult conversation where I was told that I was too academic, too intellectual and not emotional enough, that I don't open up enough.
I thought, "perhaps if we had had this conversation in
And I know that I wasn't always this closed off.
It comes and goes in waves.