ENTRY # 68 Mark Rothko, White Center,1950
What is important at any given moment is entirely based upon what surrounds it.
Myriad stimulus vies for ones attention all the time. That one thing even makes it to the forefront of the mind is amazing, but even given ones full attention, it doesnt exist in isolation. It (whatever it is) is colored by whatever flanks it both physically and temporally. The white is lighter for being next to the darkness. The orange swatch glows because it was made with an underlying yellow that peeks through overlays of glaze. The pink vibrates in its quiet intensity because its saturation is amped, but its value is the same as the surround.
Memory is like that.
Experience is like that. J
oy is brilliant because of surrounding darkness. An underlying belief that life is good, permeates and glows despite the layers of the mundane that mask it. Tribulation makes that sense of inate worthiness richer. Quiet intensity is arresting because it is insistent, provocative and mysterious – not like some clanging boor that says, “Look at me! Im king of the world.” You avoid the order and sidle next to the seething one, the one emanating whatever it is that arrested your gaze. When you hold the key to unlock what these pictures may tell you, when you have your own decoder ring, every picture tells a story. (What do dogs playing poker say?) Church is where you think about life, your soul, and the right thing to do by your fellows. When I lived in D.C., the National Gallery was my church. Rothko was one of my altars. I could find God in his paintings, more so than some rendering of a generic long haired white dude mounted on a cross. This brightness is important. The darkness too. Thats what its saying. And what they are, this day, this moment, is changeable.