21 April 2008

On thunderstorms, space and a painting.


Moments before I decided to start writing, a blast of thunder exploded in the sky. I can't recall if I was afraid of thunderstorms as a kid, and I somehow suspect that I wasn't--not because I was particularly brave or anything, but it is mostly likely that if the storms occurred during the day, I would have been with someone, and if they had occurred at night, I would have slept through them.

As I child, I was a heavy sleeper. I am not a heavy sleeper any longer.


I managed to take another long walk on Saturday while the weather was nearly perfect (save the pollen) and I was able to spend time considering so many things--and then I passed this new bar around the convention center called Space (or the Space).

I started thinking about my own relation to the concept of space and how I am having difficulty with it at the moment. The space of my office (I want to change it), the space of my job (if there is such a thing), the space that my body takes up in the universe (that's a bit more complicated).

And there is the space that I need to sort some things out (I often call bullshit on that kind of space, but for today, for this last week, it is necessary, at least for me.).

But the walk in which I achieved some of that necessary space to think, to consider, and to imagine at least had a pretty brilliant and soul-inspired soundtrack thanks to the Black Keys' newest album Attack and Release (which, if we are to be honest and take a good look at the title, seems to be a theme of mine lately).


The Black Keys' new album reminds me of this painting that I have. It's a painting of New York City by this guy Arthur L. Veale. I just looked him up on Google, and the only thing that I could find was that he died in Norfolk, VA (if this is the same artist).

(This is an old photo that has the painting in it; if you click on the photo, you can get a better look at it. And maybe, just maybe, you'll see in it something that I see.)

In any case, this painting (like the album) is a terrific look at something very personal created by other people who were kind enough to allow me to share in their creations.


a little of this, a little of that... said...

Attack and release is sometimes a good way to deal with things. Much healthier than attacking and never letting go, and much healthier than never facing the things that you think you need to face.

Was the new bar invoking space as the conceptual dimension or space as the astronomical dimension?

m.a. said...

I know that you'd ask about this! I think that it was the conceptual dimension? Or a space of cool? I have to think more about it.

a little of this, a little of that... said...

Once, after discovering the conceptual dimension of space, I asked a friend how they thought about space. The reply was along the lines of "what, like stars?" I wish that my reply had been something like "well, they call it outer space for a reason."

In my experience, it is kind of hard to get folks thinking along the lines of conceptions of space if they have not thought of it before. But "spaces of cool," kind of like the disco in Saturday Night Fever, certainly works from the conceptual side.

A quick five page primer that may be of interest is the introduction to Yi-Fu Tuan's Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience.