My show opened tonight. The reception was great, good turnout, good party. For a couple of hours I was the center of attention. I talked to and met more people than I had the entire year, or so it seemed.
I was tired, thirsty, stiff-necked by the time we got home. After a cup of hot chocolate we went to bed. KDM fell asleep quickly. I tried to do the same. 40 minutes later, my mind was still racing. After another twenty some minutes of trying, when it was pretty clear that my efforts were a waste of time, I got up, put on a sweater, came downstairs and turned on blogger. It was the last thing I'd thought I would do tonight.
As I was lying in the dark with my eyes wide open, my tired body pleaded with a mind which refused to give up the sights and sounds of the evening. They crammed it like an unstoppable train. I closed my eyes tight in order to shut out the madness, only to find my consciousness on a collision course with another entirely unrelated thought: the recent death of my college professor. Regrets and sadness got into the mix. In a clumsy manner I found myself commending his soul (who probably was agnostic, at least a sceptic of organized religion) to the Eternal Father, through Christ, in the Holy Spirit...More sadness and regrets. Once again sights and sounds of the evening rushing back to cram my head barely resisted. Some strange, nameless emotion began to rise and disperse within my chest. It set about to gather, with its multiple tentacles, the shapeless orgy of memories under one overwhelming urge: to get on my knees and to pray, for what I know not how to fit in one abstract notion expressed in words. All I wanted to was to be on my knees, to gaze upon one Entity, one Unmoved Mover, at a still point, and "let the darkness come upon me."
Whence this emotion? What's its name? It's wholly unfamiliar to me. The faces I saw tonight spun around in my mind and slowly and eventually merged into one with my art and my devotion to art, with all the teaching, giving, sharing, nourishing that had been lavished upon me over these years...Could it be gratitude that I was feeling?
But, still, there's that nagging, undeniable, stubborn emotion which felt like anguish.
It was gratifying to see my own work beautifully framed, displayed, all at one place. It was good to see people, acquaintances and strangers alike, study and enjoy them, approach me and talk about them. I've had shows before, but somehow it feels different this time. Somehow, it no longer feels like a trip for the ego, but rather like a harvest of sowing, of growing, pruning, and all the labor and mistakes that went into the making of a good thing.
Vaguely, I seemed to grasp what I read in Rebbecca West's A Strange Necessity, what she described as art's ability to bridge odd things. It is very hard to elucidate such amorphous feelings. Writing it out helps bring some peace to it all.
In a few hours I will be on my knees, in Adoration of the only Still Point keeping the world from spinning out of control. I will commend my confusion to His Sacred Heart, and I may know what it is that is storming my own heart tonight. Then all the weariness will give way to clarity.