Endless

Here’s my meditation on interpreting art and on art itself, narrated to my muse:

Come close and I’ll tell you this story I know
Of an artist and a thing of infinite beauty she wrought
Her creation was so much like you and me
Hear to all I have to say and then you’ll see
So tenderly she paints that final stroke
Steps back, her creation finally complete
Hers alone when in her mind it lived
But it belongs to each who now lays eyes
She knew it never could be hers alone
She knows they’ll see more than what was shown
But art that was absolute wasn’t art at all
There would be as many facets as the ones who saw
The first ones who walked in to see what she’d drawn
Left unimpressed, finding nothing but the mundane
And the ones who followed, came prepared to see
A work that was mediocre, no need to think
Along came a mind, ablaze with thoughts
Its light illuminating layers unseen
The ones who now followed were made wary
Rumors claimed it had a lot more to say
It didn’t take long for one to fall to his knees
Overwhelmed, he surrendered, to the beauty of this piece
With tears on his face, he rose shivering
Claiming this was the answer to all of life
And the world now thought it had seen nothing greater
This work crowned the pinnacle of mankind
Revered by all, it was gilded with praise
Every man and woman now seeking its sight
Then arose those in search of the truth
Refusing to rest till they had seen in that way
Found what the artist had truly meant to say
But the artist smiled and reminded all
Every way that you saw was the right way to see
There were those who were raised upon its legend
Who sought it to find no less than enlightenment
But their eyes saw something so ordinary
Broken, disappointed, they departed disillusioned
She spoke then, maker of this masterpiece
Of the things that she’d drawn but remained unseen
And the things they’d shown, she hadn’t known had been
No work, she sighed, could be nought but pure
Everything created had so much to answer for
At its heart, all art, had an obligation to feed
To keep money flowing, keep her patrons pleased
And how could art escape the mark of time?
Shaped by the forces of the age in which it’s born
Meaning things to its creators, none could hope to see
For every thought, every memory fed into art
First decades then centuries, time doesn’t pause
Its creator has fallen, yet the creation grows
Accruing new meaning with each year that passes
Limited only by our eyes and our minds
As long as it hangs on that wall, uncovered
Some will find what nobody had seen before
Because true art, both intricate and sparse
A blank canvas our minds paint each time afresh
And in this planet that hosts a billion souls
Looking at the same thing in a billion ways
Our limitless minds have set art free
And while we know too well that it just can’t be
Humans can’t resist the temptation to see
All of art, that which is as endless as you and me…

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4 thoughts on “Endless

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