For me, the most beautiful things in this world are the ones that are concealed. I like straight up pretty, too, but when i’m honest with myself, I love the work. I connect with things while discovering them. Does everyone?
I don’t want anything for free.
A friend recently sent me a little article about Bob Johnston (who produced Dylan and Johnny Cash!) that called art ‘the concealment of art.’ (It said a lot of other things too, but that’s for another story.)
Art is the concealment of art.
This riddle turned my brain inside out. So I took it into my body instead and there it started to unravel and unwind. (I still don’t know what it means, but it felt like something good.)
Is it that the most beautiful or feeling-invoking or thought-provoking things are wild and undelivered?
That art and life are most beautiful in funny, strange packaging that is ours to unwrap blindfolded, upside-down, backwards, with our feet?
I think so.
There are so many things that are better when you have to work for them:
A child, warming up to a new experience slowly, tentative at first, and then bursting in.
Apprivoisement (from the Le Petit Prince; the idea that something is just like every other something until you develop an intimacy with it and then it’s yours forever.)
Writing a story and not knowing what will come.
Detective work, my favourite game when I was a little-and now.
Tapping into, until you hear it a little more loudly, clearly, bravely, that voice in you that knows everything there is to know.
All the gods and all the mysteries of this wide universe.
Love, in all of its wretched, beautiful forms.
These are acts of faith; the exploration it takes by a certain brave heart to allow the unmasking of life.
So the other day, i asked that voice in my little heart that knows the answers a Big Question.
My habit is to waffle around between head and heart, never lingering anywhere long enough to actually get anything uncovered, except maybe some surface level fears and cravings and other red herrings.
But this day, i planted myself into the ground, and asked and wondered and willingly held the concealment in my heart until, after a terribly long time, it began its untangling of itself from the untruths and the half-truths and became just beautiful, honest. I looked up to discover the most enchanting blue feather, right where it shouldn’t have been, with no blue birds in sight.
Just kidding; nothing got unconcealed, no conclusions were handed over, but i really liked the concealment, so perhaps answers came anyway.