July 12, 2015

What A Day

I love this song. There's something about it that's just so pure. It expresses something, expresses a moment, expresses an experience for Greg Laswell. He sings his heart. And I love how this video expresses the lyrics of the song. It's literal. It's the words. But it's not narrative literal; it's not showing us the story of the words. It's showing us the words themselves, expressed in a specific and personal visual form that makes us understand them more deeply, or at least differently.

July 9, 2015

Very big things, very small things

I found a stone on the beach in Rhode Island. It's flat and round. It's round-ish. It has a band of one color stone running across the middle. That band is yellow-ish, or maybe I would call it "honey" colored especially because it looks like a band of petrified honey and that's what makes it great--when I look at it I am filled with wonder, considering how and when it was formed. The rest of the stone, the "top" and the "bottom" bands are slate grey. The kind of color that one might identify as a "stone-like" color of grey.

I started looking for other stones that were like it. Round, flat stones that had a solid band of another type of stone in the middle. I found a few.

Soon after I found them, I wanted to paint. I wanted to take paint to canvas explore how the shapes and colors met one another in these stones, these round stones with bands of other stones running through them as if they had been pressed together, the layers one on top of another. A few days later I saw an article about Jupiter. There was a picture of the planet in the article. It looked like my stones. Or, perhaps, my stones looked like Jupiter. Similar colors, similar roundness, similar wide band of color intersecting the roundness. I loved this connection, this not-so-accidental similarity.

I like how the very big things are often a lot like the very small things. And the other way around.

It's no surprise, I suppose, that the characters in my plays are fascinated by the same thing. For example, Alice, who works with maps, shares this story with her co-worker in Restoration/Conservation:

When I was little, I don't remember how old, father told me, “Alice, the world is your oyster.” The world is your oyster. He was so sincere. So earnest. I thought it must be something profound that he was telling me. But I didn't understand what it meant. So I pictured the world in an oyster. Little. And then I imagined how little we must be if the world was actually size of an oyster. After that, whenever I would see maps I would try to fit them, in my imagination, to the size of a little oyster. And then my imagination made it even smaller one later I learned that pearls came from oysters and so I pictured the world size of the pearl. It must've been around the same time that I learned that the world was round or at least understood it—maybe I had learned it before, but I understood that the world was round. I saw globes and some maps splattered across these globes. Painted on these globes. On these pearls. (A small moment) The delicate nature of these pages, of these maps. Their small size yet significant impact on their peers and on history.

To read the play, head this way