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Posts Tagged ‘Defending Your Life’

“Memory and Return”- At the West End Gallery



It was odd getting up this morning and not staggering out the door to climb on my tractor to plow. It was almost becoming habit. Not having to do so felt liberating and it was nice to relax as I walked over to the studio under a still hanging half-moon that made the icy surface of the deep snow sparkle.

It was nice image. It made me wonder if these sort of images linger in our subconscious, becoming enmeshed and part of who we are.

They say that your life flashes in an instant in your mind’s eye just before you die. Would these be one of those images that would flash before my eyes when my time comes? Would they be random moments that didn’t even register in our conscious mind, hidden clues to who we are that lay deep in our brains waiting for the final moment to reveal themselves?

Or would they be those moments and faces and places that we do remember consciously, that we have already placed in our memory as being important?

I find myself often wondering about what sort of imagery, if any, would be there. Sometimes I will stop in the woods on those seemingly perfect days when the temperatures are pleasant and the sky peeking through the trees is that rich color of placid blue. Looking up, I will think to myself that if this were the last image in the final flash of my life, I would be okay with that.

And if not, it’s a perfect moment of calm in the present moment. Win-win as they say.

I guess I won’t know the answer to my questions until that last moment so I most likely won’t be able to write about them here. I just hope I am satisfied with what I am shown.

It would be awful if I were to end up like the Albert Brooks character in his film Defending Your Life who has to make the case after his death, using flashbacks to vital points in his life, that his time on Earth was well spent and that he was worthy to move on to the next world. His flashbacks focused, to great comedic effect, on his many fears and his weaknesses. 

I was hoping for something a little more zen, perhaps even answers to what the meaning might be for this particular life on this strange spinning planet.

But you get what you get, I suppose. We most likely have to do our own editing now, while we have the opportunity, if we want to be pleased when that flash comes before our eyes. 

That brings me to the painting at the top, an 8″ by 8″ piece called Memory and Return that is part of the West End Gallery’s annual Little Gems show of new small work, that opens next Friday, February 12. This piece has that feel of an image that might flash in my mind during that final slideshow of my life.

I don’t exactly know why.

While I am hoping the rest of the film will reveal the answer, I am mainly hoping I don’t see this film for some time to come. 

Here’s a lovely rendition of a favorite song that continues this theme. The song is In My Life from the Beatles and this version is from Diana Krall.

Give a listen, then go work on your own film and have a good day.



 

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GC Myers- DeliberationsThis is a new 12″ by 24″ painting on canvas that, for the moment, I am calling Deliberations.  I finished it yesterday and have been looking at it ever since, trying to decipher what it is that I am seeing in it, why it is pulling me in,  Something very cryptic in it– perhaps it’s the birds or the Red Chair or the stubbed off tree limbs– that fills me with questions.

What is this place?  What do those birds have to do with the Red Chair?  Is the sun rising or falling past the horizon and is that snow on the ground?  Why is the Red Chair in the circle of earth?

Quite honestly, I don’t know.

Starting with the given title, Deliberations, I begin to see this as a place of  judgement, either some sort of self-judgement or a spiritual reckoning.  As  though it is a place where when one has passed on, they go to review their life to determine what they done with the time given to them here on Earth. The life in question is the Red Chair, the red representing the physical embodiment.  The birds might be witnesses or judges or both.  The light over the horizon might be the next step forward– heaven, if that is what your belief system tells you it is called– and the trees act as a barrier between this place and that next step.

Kind of reminiscent, in a more symbolic and  folky way, of the Albert Brooks/Meryl Streep movie, Defending Your Life, where the dead find themselves at a Disney-like resort where, over several days they attend hearings where they review and defend the life they have lived to to determine whether they have learned its lessons in order to move on to a more ethereal plane.  If not, they return to try again.

But maybe this is just a red chair in the woods and those are simply some birds who frequent those woods.

Who knows?  It’s all in the eye of the beholder.  As for myself, I will deliberate on it a little longer…

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