Saturday, 20 October 2012


Of late, there has been rather a lot of escaping into the past for me.  By my own admission this has been, at times, rather tumultuous in nature and despite the occasional outburst of tears, it has been rather calming and soothing as well. This escapism has ranged from watching a film - My Week With Marilyn - which despite my initial reservations over watching Kenneth Branagh, an actor I find most awfully over-rated, playing a rather credible Lawrence Olivier to an excellent performance by Michelle Williams who captured some of the magic that was Marilyn Monroe, from the ridiculously ephemeral turn by Emma Watson (she of that irritating franchise that is Harry Potter) to both Judi Dench and Eddie Redmayne; fine actors who evoked the period in which they were cast.  A film which I must confess I did not expect to enjoy but found myself doing so.

Another foray has been into my own past.  Thinking and pondering over things and I readily admit, this has been the cause of much of my tears over the last couple of days.  Perhaps, as usual, too much soul searching and over analysis on my part - unable to change things yet somehow seeking to understand, digest and move forward. This isn't always easy; especially when so much of the present is undone, stressed, seemingly angst ridden and confused. My life is undergoing a metamorphosis of sorts, a change if you will.  Some of those in my life are aware of this, some are oblivious and others still remain ignorant; not wishing to know, understand, or perhaps even just turning a blind eye to all the proceedings that are going on.  I have been reflecting somewhat upon past mistakes, errors of judgment and misfortunes, as well as my own stupidity and gradually - I hope, somehow, I am turning my back on such events and their outcomes which have seemingly impinged upon my life.  In short, although at times I feel close to the edge of a metaphysical, metaphorical abyss; I don't want to fall in, and have a nervous breakdown before the age of forty.

So, this afternoon, I went to the Dulwich Picture Gallery.  Slightly outside of my usual "comfort zone" if you will, in terms of both the art and period I know and understand.  Having been dubbed both a "Renaissance man" and a "mediaevalist" in recent times (both compliments glad received); I chose to spend an afternoon in the company of artists such as Poussin, Gainsborough and Rubens.   This might seem to those who know me best as being rather a daunting undertaking, and certainly rather alien to my being to say the least.  In terms of art, despite the occasional and rather daring foray into more modern works such as Uglow, Modigliani or Klimt, I rarely step beyond the late sixteenth century.  Yet earlier, I found myself transfixed unexpectedly by the glory of some of the works which I was witness to, and despite the crowds around me - found myself largely able to shut the majority of the other spectators out and concentrate upon the glorious spectacles in their gilt frames in front of me.  For me, it was like discovering the glory and beauty of a whole new world, and something which rather ridiculously I had overlooked.  For those who have long since dismissed art they do not understand, I say to them, open your eyes and look, and your ears and listen.  For indeed, there is beauty all around.  Not to say that I am going to start listening to rap, hiphop, or dance music - nor appreciate graffiti (or 'street artists') and start to sing its praises but maybe, just maybe as I approach my forties next year, I find myself being more accepting, appreciative and open minded; lifting the blinkers and enlarging my scope and panorama.  Even at times when I feel that I am so set in my ways, I enjoy to be pleasantly surprised and discover something new.

Le Triomphe de David - by Nicolas Poussin -  in the Dulwich Picture Gallery.

At present, this seems to be a time of καιρός, hence the heading.  Rhetorically speaking, kairos is
a passing instant when an opening appears which must be driven through with force if success is to be achieved.  I am not there yet, yet I feel that moment beckons and is close at hand.  I can only hope that I do not miss it, and the opportunity does not bypass me (once again?).

No comments:

Post a Comment