art by Arlene Kim Suda

pay attention...

pay attention…

Joyous melancholy

Posted on March 31, 2015 by aks

I have been feeling really sensitive to my surroundings lately – spurred into melancholy by overhearing strangers talk or into a joy when seeing the unbridled laughter of kids playing in the most ordinary places.

Today was another day I was aware of the healing nature of art at the Ai WeiWei exhibit on Alcatraz Island.  This feels like a poem to me.  It was read by the @Large guide.  I am including the audio of her reading because she put so much care and love into reciting this and it is magical to hear the wind and the birds joining in the background.  What a gift.  Feel very grateful.

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Ai WeiWei on beauty, joyous melancholy and freedom of speech…

I used to believe in the pure beauty of things
I was an architect
I longed for the ideal form but then I woke up…
I saw the death in classical art – the art the party likes
It is total inadequacy to describe the world that we live in
and to express how we feel
that’s how they want human beings — perfectly formed
and the world outside you is whatever they want to tell you
live the eternally present and you will be happy
they are selling you out and you don’t feel the sting
your ignorance and your silence
are the price that you pay
for the security of your lifestyle
and why not? peace and harmony…and shopping!

but you can not see or hear
you know absolutely nothing
and even if you know you’re unable to speak out,
speak out and you’ll disappear
doesn’t matter if you are joyous melancholy
full of great thoughts of
nature, humanity or the universe
you can be a wonderful person inside
but if you don’t desire to change
then all you are is a perfect modern slave

and never underestimate them
never underestimate the elite
and believe this, this from China
without individual voices
or the free exchange of information
there can be no common interest for humanity
you cannot exist,
the people, the proletariat, the country cannot really exist
i think social transformation can never be achieved
because the first step in social transformation
is to regain the power of the freedom of speech
a society lacking in the freedom of speech
is a dark, bottomless pit

 

And more pictures from the day.  I’m still in a black and white mood – I think it is my way of detaching from the painful reality I’ve been feeling out in the world lately.

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