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Artistry

“Observe the wonders as they occur around you. Don't claim them. Feel the artistry moving through and be silent. ”

-Rumi 

Translated by Coleman Barks 



“This is what you wanted, Jenné,” she said.

“This is what you asked the universe to know. On this very day. In this very moment. You made this happen. You asked a very specific question. And have come to find the answer… And isn’t it magnificent?”


Lourdes said that. Even her name carries a sense of profoundness. Like someone up above knew the glory. Left a little tiny secret within her. Something cryptic. 


Like when you are dealt a hand of suspiciously good cards. And there is a brief moment of wonder, ‘did the dealer stack these?’


I’ve been thinking a lot about artistry. And isn’t artistry interesting. Like Rumi expresses in the above poem. 


True artistry has some je ne sais quoi, quality. 

A special essence you can't quite put your finger on. 


Somehow artistry can exist even beyond the form of art itself:

We can drive with it. Weave in and out of lanes with grace. 

We can see it in the moment to moment in the ever changing patterns in the clouds.

And if we look in just the right way,

We can see artistry in the unfolding of our own lives. 


And isn’t it magnificent?



A few weeks back I visited my dearest friend Amanda in her new home, in Houston. I’d never been before. Cool vibes. Great food. Excellent art.


I was deeply moved by the art. 


Art by Cy Twombly at the Menil Collection, specifically. Funny name and all…


In its typical mysterious and benevolent ways, the universe pulled a quick one on me. A good old fashioned set up. A stacked deck. I didn’t realize it, but I was about to be deeply moved. I was just playing the hand I’d been dealt.


The intricate weaving of the threads of the tapestry of my life all came together. The gum drops, phoenix claw, and whiskers from a unicorn ingredients, collected in my backpack along the way, finally making sense. They blended together with sheer perfection to create a rainbow stew. A winning hand. My life itself proving to be the artful spectacle.


The makings of a royal flush.


The crescendo.


Realized only by the light, the flavor, the specific kaleidoscopic view coming into harmony.

The sum of my experiences integrating. The culmination of everything until that very moment. 


The falling together of complex pieces in such a perfectly orchestrated way. A way that although I could not understand, I could silently sense the artistry. 

A visit to the permanent (and free!) Cy Twombly exhibit, takes viewers for a ride. 

Upon entrance one is faced with a massive artwork - at least in contrast with the size of the standard works of art on canvas.


It’s a triptych art piece. Abstract. Very dimly lit. Pretty nonsensical colors and disparate, disjointed, seeming nonsense markings span across the behemoth piece. And yet, some sense of flow.


It makes you feel small, both from sheer size and the elusive nature of what it tries to convey. Abstraction fasho.


It is interesting and captivating enough to look at. But, in true abstract nature, its content is practically indecipherable. Like Cy Twombly's own name. Like there’s a code you can’t crack. Can’t quite count the cards with enough precision...


Perusing through the rest of the gallery proved to be a journey of intense emotion, and deep understanding. A true sense of connecting with what this one human was experiencing in a moment in time, now past. Piercing, albeit in an abstract, unorthodox fashion.


You are stopped in your tracks, and mystified.


The energy and emotion captured and emitted through the paintings is palpable. You just have to pause long enough to “observe the wonders as they occur around you,” like Rumi says, to feel it. 


After you complete a viewing through the well thought out, artfully arranged display, you return to the same place you started: staring at the gigantic triptych piece. 


And something happens. Bits and pieces of this immense, three part art work start to feel familiar. That certain je ne sais quoi quality. A de-ja-vu.


You’ve seen that marking. And that line. And that strange dense area of colors. 


I’ve seen this before. 

I’ve had this exact experience before.

And this huge abstract art piece

Cryptic in initial nature

Becomes a clear map.

Of what is to come

Of what you’ve now already seen

Of the wonders as they occur around

Around and around

And you end up 


Right back


At the starting point 


And in this realization

You yourself

Experience wonder


Gate gate pāragate pārasaṃgate bodhi svāhā

GONE GONE 

GONE BEYOND 

GONE BEYOND BEYOND HAIL THE GOER 


Cy Twombly (who is no longer even alive!) curated an experience. 


A profound one


The pieces come together. 

The entire collection works in synergy. 


“Synergy is the intelligence of a highly complex system. The nature of which is unknown to the individual members.” - Buckminster Fuller via Alan Watts 


And synergy feels artful.

Feels like getting dealt a stacked deck with a pair of aces in the pocket.

Synergy feels like stepping away from the needle and thread, just far enough to get a glimpse of the grander tapestry. 


Artistry is the moment that Lord tells you, you have understood, and you have made it be so. It feels like the universe pulled a fast one and set you up to have this experience in this particular moment in time and space. It’s what your unfolding calls for. 


‘And isn’t it magnificent.’ The words of Lord ring on, like music.


And you accept the cards as they have been dealt. “Without claim,” like Rumi says. 

Without ever truly knowing why it is that it feels just so 

Without being able to put a finger on it.

If you


Make space to see 


The artistry in everything.


In the interpretation of the art itself

In the fact that the art

Takes on new meaning 

Takes shape 


In the beholder

Through the beholder

In the observing

In observing the observer


In the shuffling of the cards

In a new hand being dealt


From a combination of the cards already in the deck

From every combination of choices you make


You get a glimpse 

Of the grandeur 

The benevolence

The truest essence 


And when the lenses converge on a venn diagram

When a gem catches the sun and glistens rainbows in one million directions

When the cacophonous ingredients in your backpack become rainbow soup


When the absolute perfection of it all can be seen 


Can be felt


When your favorite deceased artist drops a new album.

Or a deceased artist you never knew, impacts you in a piercing way.



When the omnipresent universe deals you a hand

That works out just so perfectly.


The sense of synergy.

The feeling of auspicious omens.

Grace

Blessings

A vision of your tapestry as a whole

The convergence of the Venn diagrams

The coming together of

What you deserve

Dharma

Good Karma

Divine Unfolding 


Just as Rumi says: [May you]

“Observe the wonders as they occur around you. Don't claim them. Feel the artistry moving through and be silent. ”


That is

The artistry. 

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