Archive for December 2nd, 2021

The Beholder

GC Myers- The Beholder  2021

The Beholder– At the Principle Gallery

The eye you see is not an eye because you see it;
it is an eye because it sees you.

― Antonio Machado, Times Alone: Selected Poems

Another new small piece from the Small Works show at Principle Gallery that opens Saturday. This is called The Beholder.

I’ve always been aware of, and sort of fascinated with their proximity to us. I have long admired their great intelligence and problem-solving skills, their strong family and societal bonds, their ability to survive in a world  unfriendly to their existence, and their willingness to occasionally interact with us humans, even if it’s in a distant and wary way.

But it is their watchful presence that piques my interest most. I have been watched carefully forever by the crows around here and in the cemetery we haunt for walks. They sit patiently and usually quietly, their gaze fixed on me as I move around. They are used to me and their normal wariness is relaxed a bit.

Just a bit. I am still a human in their eyes, after all. And we all know what that crowd is like.

Occasionally they let out a few of their trademark caws.

It all makes me think that they have gained a great deal of wisdom from their eons of being on the fringes of our existence, observing our behaviors and following our movements.

This belief that they possess some greater knowledge is heightened by the fact that they persist even though we have often killed them in great numbers, shooting them when we labeled them as a threat to crops or for sheer sport(?), or poisoned them with our use of pesticides and herbicides on those crops.

What do they know? What have they seen? Could it be something we cannot see in ourselves, something that requires an impartial outside observer?

Maybe they are just fascinated by us, watching us as though we were chimps in a monkey-cage at the zoo, waiting for us to do something goofy or stupid.

They usually don’t have to wait too long.

I see this small painting, The Beholder, as being about that sense of watchfulness, about how we might benefit from simply sitting quietly and observing ourselves.

It certainly couldn’t do any harm…

FYI– The short verse at the top is from renowned Spanish poet Antonio Machado, who died in 1939 at the age of 63. At the time, he had fled to France as he was opposed to the fascist threat posed by the Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War.

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