against avoiding mystery

They should not have wanted to eliminate the confusions in art.  Instead those confusions should be sought.  One ought to want to go inside the difficulties.  If you seek mystery, isn’t this the place to find it, in confusion?  If you don’t know what you are seeing — or you know the name of the thing, but even as you are looking at it, you cannot decide what it looks like … isn’t that an authentic question?  Shouldn’t an artist desire the direct impress of seeing that includes all sorts of unanswered questions that come into your mind, one question after another, as you attempt to take the vision apart?

It goes toward some foundation of perception to ask yourself almost daily, “What does the world really look like?”  Pose it as a question.  If you think you know, you have already layered it over with thoughts.  Keep asking the question of the different objects of sight, at different times of day, in the different seasons of time.

Oceanic feeling

When I was a secretary working for the United States in the government green hallways of the labyrinthine State Department building my job saw me often being the go-fer (go get this, go get that) and I learned to navigate the maze of block-long hallways as though I lived there.  Doing errands represented the part of my job I liked best because it was so dream-like: probably 85% of my dreams involve moving through strange architectural spaces.

During one of my routine gofer journeys I passed through an eddy in the space-time continuum and my life changed.  I was walking down the hall and turned a corner.  That was all I did physically.  But as I entered the new hallway after the turn, I realized that something strange had happened.  I even stopped in the middle of the empty hall (sections of hallway were often empty since people were usually in their office suites).  I stood there a moment and looked around to see if I could detect what had happened.

I knew that my life had just changed direction, and that it was an exceedingly subtle but perceptible change.  I recalled the metaphor of the oceanliner that changes course by turning –subtle change for the giant boat on the big sea — turning a wee fraction and arriving at some vastly different place on the globe than if it had kept to its original course.

My walking through the hallway was like that.  Slight turn and I was heading toward a wildly different destination.  Later I quit my job and began doing art full time.  I began by turning from one federal hallway into another one.