Archive for December 4th, 2022

All You Have Is Your Soul

GC Myers-Color Rising- sm

Color Rising – At the Principle Gallery

Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough.

–Charles Dudley Warner, The Relation of Literature to Life, 1896

After arriving early this morning and after feeding the trio of feral cats in the garage and Hobo here in the studio, I began listening to music. That’s usually what I do on Sunday mornings as I try to pick out a song for my weekly song selection. I went through a lot of songs on YouTube quickly and nothing hit just right for me. Then I noticed the name Tracy Chapman and instantly knew that she was what I had been seeking this morning.

I chose a favorite one of her songs, one that I had listened to regularly when it first was released in the late 1980’s, All That You Have Is Your Soul. For some reason, it had slipped off my regular playlist and hearing it again raised all sorts of feelings and thoughts, both from that time and now. It’s that kind of song.

Trying to come up with a piece of art to pair with it, I scanned through some new pieces that are at the Principle Gallery. Several would have worked adequately but when my eyes fell on the one at the top, Color Rising, while the song played, I knew I had a match. It was like two gears meshing for me.

There was something in the gray tones of the composition and the bits of color in the Red Tree and the rising sun/moon that spoke to me. The meaning that came across to me was that as we go through this journey of life, in the end all we have is our self and the character we developed during this life.

Not things or conquests or bank balances. No, it was how we acquitted ourselves during the journey. 

How we find ourselves standing in the light, symbolic or otherwise.

It’s a simple message, really. But it’s a simple painting. And sometimes, for meaningful concepts, simplicity works best.

Anyway, here is that Tracy Chapman song, All That You Have Is Your Soul. Good to remember.

Some Extra Info— The author of the short quip at the top, Charles Dudley Warner, was a neighbor and good friend of Mark Twain in Hartford, CT. I didn’t know that he co-wrote The Gilded Age with Twain. That was the book that gave us that term, Gilded Age, for the period of opulence and excess from 1870-1900 when the lords of industry amassed their immense fortunes as the new technology they employed revolutionized — and capitalized on– the lives of the common man. It has been said we have been in a new Gilded Age for the past thirty years, with staggering fortunes made on the new digital technology that again both revolutionizes and capitalizes on the average man. I. personally hope this new Gilded Age is near an end and some balance is restored.

But in the meantime, I still have my soul…

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