Looting Versailles

Looting Versailles
My first book of poems, just released by Alabaster Leaves Publishing

Friday, December 20, 2013

Viewing great art is falling in love

I don't know that the supposition in my header is true, but it seem rational based on a couple of principles I've accepted, some ideas that I gathered from my experiences.

The first idea, that I've stated here several times, is that great art is the art which captures our imagination. To say that another way, it holds our attention, it's visually catchy. It's infectious.

The second idea is a truth I've become aware of just recently: That the act of giving attention is the (one of the?) essential act(s) of love. As a parent, pet owner, friend, I realize what separates whom I care about from strangers is that I pay attention to their lives, AND it's their attention I want. Often a pet will do something loud - cry, make something fall off a ledge - and when I look I see them looking at me, and I say, "Emma, I see you," as if I know that's what they wanted. For me to see them. And what child does not look to see, while playing a toy drum for example, if their parent is watching them? Or while spinning until they fall, will not peek to see if mother sees them being silly? The child and pet depend on the mature person, and they want to know they're loved by feeling their attention. I'd say adults do this with each other to - having another's attention makes you feel cared about, important to someone other than yourself. We want someone other than ourselves to pay attention to ourselves. Hence Facebook, hence blogs ;)

I think I fall short of arguing adequately for attention being an act, possible the act, of love. But in my experience this seems true. And applying this knowledge to my daily interactions at work and home has strengthened my relationships recently, I think. It's practical. That's why I'm a stickler for empirical knowledge lately.

So if idea one and two are true (they may not be for you - they seem very much so for me), then the act of viewing something that holds your attention (great film, great song, great painting) is sort of like love at first sight, the sensation / feeling of it. And who doesn't say about their favorite anything, "I LOVE that movie / song / etc!"

It seems so obvious, but spelled out like that, it's pretty interesting.

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