Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Brother Jeff over at Odin's Aviary had an experience this weekend similar to one I had last week, where several cultural/artistic experiences in a short space of time helped reaffirm for him why such things, perhaps live performance in particular, was a good thing to do. My week was a different set of events, but a similar outcome. It started with a trip to the Met, where I saw three amazing shows, but was perhaps most struck by the Tiffany exhibit. I felt like I was bathing in color, and it was nothing if not therapeutic. Then I saw Pan's Labyrinth, a movie which was not at ALL what I was expecting, and about which I do have some reservations, but I'm still glad I saw it. The discussion with Jeff was another bright spot in the experience. Later that week I got to go up to New Paltz with, again, Jeff (hmm, I'm sensing a pattern here), to do the workshop (see entry 1/20/07), then the next day good friends took me to hear some chamber music being performed by undergraduates and masters students at Julliard.

The art and music in particular struck a deep chord with me; both used to be huge parts of my life, as practitioner and audience member, and in the last ten years they've largely disappeared from my life. That has been a mistake, I think, and especially while I'm living in New York, it seems too bad not to avail myself of the local resources a bit more. The Met cost me $5 (my choice of 'donation') and the concert was free.

I ended the week feeling like I had been doing things rejuvenating and beneficial. Funnily enough my friend Cathy, one of my two hosts at Julliard, said something similar. She and her husband are coming out of a horrendous experience that consumed them for most of the last three years. Cathy said that during that time, her dream-life became affected, shifting drastically in tone and imagery. In recent months however, she's noticed a distinct return to health in her dream-life, and attributes at least some of it to regular attendance at Julliard chamber and jazz concerts. I believe she's right.

It sounds silly, pretentious even, to suggest that artistic experiences are having a healthy effect on me, but that's really what it boils down to. If it's any consolation, I've felt the same rejuvenation after dancing to 80's pop music, or seeing a fun, light-hearted play. I don't think the experience has to be capital 'C' culture stuff... I just have to remember it needs to happen more often. And I think it needs to be live, and really really good.

1 comment:

Jeff Wills said...

You said it, Patrick. Funny how easy it can be to forget the immediate, positive effects of live art/craft. David Zarko is really good at remembering that, which is probably how he can motivate himself every day to work his ass off to make the theatre fly.

That's it. I'm throwing out my television.