Monday, March 23, 2009

Confirmation of Me

Not many things bring tears to my eyes, but they brimmed over as I listened to the genteel Southern drawl of my friend, Starkey. He was the last to read at the Author's Club annual night at the museum.

Each year, paintings in the Morris Museum of Art become the subject of a poem, a short story, an essay, a little play. With a couple of exceptions, the presentations were based on Edith Caywood's exhibition of narrative interiors. Caywood's paintings -- with floral patterns overwhelming the space and the figures -- have been compared to the story-telling of the best Southern writers, so it was a proper fit. Three readings were based on the same painting which was a delight. The interpretations were poignant, humorous, and clever. It was an entertaining evening.

But it was when Starkey Flythe stood to read that the audience waited. He began to speak his own words about art and us and our relationship to art; or aaht, as he would say.

He talked about the closing of Lascaux and the damage from visitors to the cave paintings -- our presence destroying the very things we revere. He said that it was suggested that one breathe as little as possible during the fifteen allotted minutes in the Arena Chapel; that it is easy to do because the Giotto paintings are breathtaking.

And then he began to talk about Art. The words continued as polished and regular as pearls strung on a chord. Each one perfectly chosen and perfectly spoken. Each one confirming art and life. Somehow, each one a confirmation of me.

Photos: Mamma's azaleas two days ago.

BushStrokes (c) AAB


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