Thursday, 20 May 2021

The Tornado Calms for a Second

Or rather is calm in general. Or rather does not calm at all.

I attended an art exhibition yesterday; not one of those modern ones about the human condition and whatnot, which is usually my thing, but one of those with biblical depictions, European portraiture and Van Gogh's weirdly bright sunflowers. By weirdly bright, I mean positively glowing.

There were a few paintings that caught my eye: 

A depiction of Genesis 24: A servant stands by the central well, tasked by Abraham to find a wife for his son, Isaac. He devises a test, awaiting a woman with the kindness to draw water for himself and his ten camels. That woman is Rebecca. 

A blurred golden rendition from Homer's The Odyssey; the scene in which Ulysses escapes the island of the one-eyed monster. If I recall correctly from my bedtime stories, Ulysses introduces himself to the cyclops as Nobody, only to injure the cyclops' one eye. The cyclops then stumbles about, crying "Nobody hurt me. Nobody hurt me." This story used to make me laugh and laugh at the sheer simple ingenuity.

And a painting of Saint Margaret. Her expression is formidable. She knows her worth, her importance, her significance. She is dressed in traditional Spanish robes. Where she would traditionally be wearing a tiara, she is wearing a straw cowboy hat, a Spanish equivalent. And melding into the darkness of the background, at her feet, is Satan disguised as a menacing creature. He is snarling, and she is un-phased.

There is something eternally graceful about history. In these stories, the world seems bigger, time seems longer, and the present seems completely insignificant. I almost want to throw a splattering orange at the modern art in the middle of the foyer, or spill juice on the book I am reading. Adults: an obsession with Instagram, modern relationships and today's hustle culture. I read an article about the lonely pandemic. By this I don't mean the coronavirus pandemic that sent us into isolation (which was/is awful), but the pandemic that started in the last century, where-in-which we all seem to be paying for individuality, privacy and studio-apartments to live all alone. Modern culture is the bane of my existence. It is graceless, Facebook is stupid, and Tinder sucks. I feel as if I've done a 180 on my persona, or want to, anyway.


If we are to return to the whirling tornado, we are referring to uncontrollability. As my stupid, stupid book about the modern human condition writes, we need the courage to control what can be controlled, and a therapist to work through what can't. Perhaps this is how normalcy works: Complications will occur either way, but the harder you try to be normal, the closer to plan things will go. But I have never tried to be normal. In fact, I have always actively played in the other direction. I never realised that life would make that happen all on its own.

I listened to a podcast by a couple of acquaintances this morning, and they spoke about being irreplaceable. I love that idea: to be irreplaceable based on your experiences, your uniqueness, your hard work. I haven't felt that motivated in a while.

The tornado is exciting, if you let it be.



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