Sunday, May 8, 2011

Rocks And Bones

We see nothing truly till we understand it.

John Constable
Hello Anlong Veng, Cambodia
"He undressed me with his eyes" she said.

I took a basic geology course in college. I always enjoyed looking at nature, including mountains, rocks and pebbles on the beach. But until I found out something about them I didn't really know what I was looking at. Once I learned about igneous, stratified and metamorphosed rock, inclusions and erosiaon, I began looking at rocks in a new way, analyzing the stone walls I walked past and tried to imagine what was happening under the ground of chunks of rock that were sticking out of it. I made a special trip to the Museum of Natural History in New York to look at the moon rock.

I always loved good music and had an ear for it but it wasn't until I studied it and learned about intervals, (two tones sounding together or one after the other), triads, (three notes sounding together) plus other tones added on to make complex chords, rules of harmony ad counterpoint, forms, (fugues, sonatas, theme and variations, etc.) and instrumentation, that I really began to hear and appreciate music.

It was the same with art. When I first tried to draw the human figure I couldn't see past the skin. I was being instructed to look for certain structures of the body, cranium, rib cage, pelvis. It took me many months before I finally began to see them and could then begin to understand other outcroppings of the figure, the shoulder, arm, hand. hip joint, leg, knee and foot. I learned about the bones and how the muscles attached to them and how they functioned. I learned it so well I could tell where those structures were even if a person was dressed. The she could really say "He undressed me with his eyes." But I wasn't doing it in the way she might think. I could see how an artist could paint a dressed figure and make it look realistic, because the human figure was there for the clothing to embrace.

So what is the most difficult thing to see, to understand? Us. The human being. It's because we aren't igneous, stratified or metamorphosed rock. We aren't tones, intervals and triads. Instead of cranium, rib cage and pelvis we are a complex of thoughts, feelings and actions. It would be a simple matter to know ourselves if we were as easy to analyze as a bunch of rocs. (Some people think other people are.) But when you look in the mirror what do you see, a pair of eyes, a nose, a mouth? If you're a woman you might fuss with your hair. Some men do that too. But you know what you're looking at isn't the real you or all there is to you. The real person is invisible and won't be seen until understood.

DB - The Vagabond
Never give up.
(This is not a contest)

NASA has planned to send a two man mission on an 18 month trip to the planet Mars. It would take 6 months for the astronauts to get there and after 6 months of exploration another 6 months to return.

Should they do it and why, and if not, why not?

Only 6 answers so far

I eagerly await your answer.



pacifica62 said...

Sometimes when I look into that mirror, I do not like what I see. Perhaps I don't like the person that I see or what I might look like. I find it somewhat comforting to know that what I see is an image but the real me is far more complex and less transparent. Even I do not know myself sometimes when I gaze at the reflection with judgement and prejudice. That is not who I am but rather who I "think" I am.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Anything worth doing is worth doing well :o)