Friday, March 04, 2005

"To write is difficult. To write about art is more difficult." ~Natalia Klyova Himmirska

Tonight I visited an art show at the BCAC that I find hard to write about. Natalia Klyova Himmirska, is an artist from Russia and a professor at BSU. I have met her before-- and thought her an extremely intimidating woman. But tonight I proved myself wrong. I met her again, this time through her paintings.

I felt like I had been away from the sun for a long time, as though I had been in the darkness, a long winter... and the color from her canvases fell on me like the sun itself. Greens, blues, oranges, reds, sienna... my skin instantly became thirsty, so thirsty for that color. It was the teal that I drank in the most. I only wish I could describe it the way it felt; I am failing miserably.

I was so, so thirsty. And I drank, and breathed, and drank. I would have liked to lay down on the floor and bathe in it, except it was an opening and I shared the small 10 foot square room with several others. I had a jacket on, my scarf still wrapped around my neck... but I felt its warmth as though my body was bare.

Her artist statement said something about time. Time being a theme in all her work. The past, the present, the future--a realm melded, transformed, imagined...transcended.

I was instantly glad that I agreed to work at the gallery tomorrow... and greedily made plans to spend the entire afternoon in that room. I will sit there and read. I will soak in those colors until I am no longer thirsty.

Because I am so thirsty for color. Just so thirsty.

Something happened in that little room. But words swim away. Stumbling over language to describe. The sun, those colors... I have missed them dearly. But there they are, I can still feel it, a body memory.

...and I realized just how much there is to learn. Will I ever? Does it matter? Can I really believe that I won't?

Today was a strange and heart-felt day. Intimate, honest conversations about writing with my students during conferences. We sat and talked for a long time, not rushing. The struggle. with writing, with school, with what stunted them in the past-- they poured their heart out. And we talked. and we talked.

Afterwards I went out for lunch with V. and as I told him about my day I was surprised by a welling of tears. I don't know why except that everything today feels so real. so real. on the surface of the skin. we talked and talked.

and like the colors of those paintings... everything feels so real.

Tonight I drove home thinking about that thirst. Thirst for color, for life. Surprised by how deeply I needed to drink, to satisfy that something I've been neglecting. though these words touch any of it. Why is it so hard to explain? That color that exists and does not exist in so many ways.

No comments: