Sunday, February 3, 2008

A Rose, a Yellow Forsythia... we are responsible for everything we most deeply feel...or feel we know...

Photo by Lefty

A post on: Black Mirror brought back a memory... not of a rose...

... for me it was the forsythia… dripping with rain, a break in the clouds, the sun turning each drop into a prism. Twelve years old, coming from an art class at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City.

“You are responsible for this…. ”

I didn’t have those words, but the meaning was there… overwhelming.
That what I felt, what I saw in that moment… I would be a thief to hold to myself. That if I failed to pass this on… and I clearly understood this to mean.. that to die without giving it form, to what had happened to me in that moment, and all such moments I might experience in the future… that if I failed to make them real to others… then I might as well have never lived at all.

That whatever I knew of beauty in the world… I was responsible for. That I experienced it as a debt to be paid, as something that I owed… for my very life.
The gift of the sublime is not free… we are responsible for every passing glance that takes it in. It doesn’t matter whether I’m remembered or forgotten… others have surpassed anything I’m likely to do, and if my work is forgotten, it will be because others have surpassed me in my own time. What matters, is that I never forget that day, the forsythia drenched with rain, and what I learned in that moment. What matters, is that I not forget… that I not forget


  1. Very beautiful, Jacob, and true.

  2. Oui vraiment un très beau texte :)

    Et qu'ils sentent bon les forsythias sous la pluie. Ma grand-mère en avait tout plein dans son jardin en Bretagne, pointe finistère, là où il pleut beaucoup, au temps des grandes marées..