Listening - watching
taking a moment
drawing the world
finding the way to connection
again and again.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Rustic Dancers


I spend an afternoon at the Metropolitan Museum in New York
wandering through the galleries.
As I walk I start to feel overwhelmed by the vast visual expression
of humans through the centuries,
each exquisite object a world of attention and care.
Where do I fit in ?
My head feels heavy and my feet drag . . .

I find a quiet spot to sit and write out the confusion,
letting the sadness spill forth and settle through the touch of pen on paper
and my familiar honest handwriting.

Then I get up and head into the Asian Collection.

I had walked past these earthenware figures many times in the past,
loving their roughness and wacky smiles.
But then I would think "tomb figures" - oooh - dead space - don't want to go there . . .

This time I let them delight me.
They are back from the dead - encased in a glass tomb now
but surrounded by the movement of humans passing by.

I stop, open the sketchbook, and dance with them for awhile.


The exchange lifts my spirits.
I am back in connection again.

7 comments:

brt said...

And so dance us all out of winter! Can't thank you enough.

Dave Belden said...

As a writer, I have sometimes felt a sensation like vertigo in a big bookshop -- all these books and where are mine, where am I? I have more than once felt dizzy or weak enough to leave the shop. Is this at all similar to where you were at? Instead of leaving, you found the dancers and reconnected! I love this experience, similar I think to me finding a book I am fascinated by that takes me out of myself and into looking, feeling, experiencing something.

Barbara Bash said...

thanks Dave for writing this out - so similar ! I have walked out of bookstores feeling the same kind of overwhelm . . . and yes to focusing out - finding my curiosity in the engagement - meeting the world again.

Barbara Bash said...

Dave - what I also wanted to say was that it was the focusing IN that I did here by journaling, but could have been done in many ways, that moment of feeling the overwhelm, listening to it, that allowed the shift to happen.

Dave Belden said...

That's a helpful point. You listened to the overwhelm and put pen to paper there and then. I don't usually move that fast!

Christy Nelsen said...

what a nice visual association -
I read once that the ancient Chinese were looking at bird tracks when their first scholarship essay writing from clazwork writing began to take shape !

Barbara Bash said...

thanks Christy for this - yes I love that origin story of the characters coming from observing the tracks of birds - the marks of the world ! Our western alphabet also has some of this buried way deep inside the forms - long forgotten . . . but still speaking.