Sunday, August 25, 2019

Artistic Influence

Shopping and sugar are abominations and addictions of a frightful order.  The dependency can however be quelled. A measure of restful sleep unquestionably aids in the recovery. While the variable of restraint can be added I'm afraid that accommodation doesn't work especially well for me. I'm far too obsessive. Instead I prefer to tranquillize my excesses by adopting the reasoned conviction that I can never consume all that there is so I am prudent to confine my indulgences to endorsement of what I already have. In summary if I never frequent a furniture store again it will be too soon; and my larder is already replete with raw fruit, nuts and vegetables.

This calculated modification conveniently adjusts to the contemporaneous evaporation of my age, appetite and overall material necessity - not to mention it eclipses any embarrassing aspiration I may have to look sexy (another of the guileful promotions of the shopping instinct). The tempering also exhibits a degree of practicality - not unlike keeping alive an old pair of shoes by indefatigable maintenance.

There are as I say only so many things one must buy or eat.  Aside from toiletries and raw food (which I employ as the base elements of shopping and sugar), the punishing attractions are limited. As for shopping there are Persian rugs, Lalique crystal, .950 sterling silver and 18K gold, oil or acrylic paintings (preferably in gilded frames), watches that work (nothing antique or used), mahogany or oak furnishings (never pine), Hunter ceilings fans, Stiffel lamps, Apple products, fine automobiles of various description, Sèvres porcelain and Dunhill lighters.  For sugar, the choice is simpler: Nanaimo bars, pecan or Key Lime pies and affogato.

The commonality of shopping and sugar is they both make us feel good (or at least we imagine they’ll make us feel good) though often without doing so. The challenge of this paradox is how best to live without them while at the same time resolving how best to submit to their allure (which is inevitable). Outright abstinence only sustains the ambition temporarily. I am not inhabiting a rustic cottage. An automobile must perform comfortably. I refuse to fast because it is so patently obnoxious. Living on blended liquid combinations sounds a complete bore; and the Atkins Diet destroys regularity (society's unspoken Nirvana).

It is the translation to the ephemeral world of art which enables one to compete with what is essentially the vulgar equivalent of bling - which is to say manifest excess.  Unfortunately this transition may initially have the appearance of mediocrity having as it does a predominance of moderation and practicality (threads regrettably common to synthetics for example).

Participation in the world of art does not necessarily involve either owning it or consuming it in the usual way such as possession. By definition the submission to art for its own value (as opposed to any value it may have to us alone) is a mystical experience and one from which we can derive unfettered results without fear of cost. The process nonetheless entails some work - the epitome of which may be the identification of one’s own talent of expression or at a minimum an acknowledgment of one’s cultural preferences. These are features which lead to discovery - that vitally unique commodity of art. "Awakening" may capture a more favourable description of the sphere. It is certainly not one in which there are any more tactile repercussions than emotional. This however represents the other side of the River of Life - the alteration from substance to sustenance (not what you want or have but what you need - possibly an unsettling confession).

Resiling to this simplistic state of being will naturally entail abandonment of the erstwhile Epicurean pleasures of the drawing room and the festive table. The temperance is not however a mandate for Stoic absurdity.  Art liberates boundaries.

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