Friday, May 21, 2010

Desire and Temptation

I am surrounded by beautiful things every day. I am lucky enough to have a job in which I am exposed to beautiful things as an everyday occurrence, things which I can imagine living with, wearing, and enjoying, things like jewelry, sculpture, fiber art, paintings, furniture, and rugs. I find myself uttering the words "I love that" with frequency, and often mentally checking my bank account , wondering whether I can afford a piece, whether I deserve that piece, whether I should give into that immediate desire and temptation.

For a fickle person like me, this is an ideal environment, one in which I can fall in love over and over again, be moved enough to welcome the newcomer, whether that newcomer is an artist or a work of art. But whether or not I need to purchase that work is a whole other question. I first saw this wonderful Amy Nguyen jacket in February, fell in love, but waited until I saw it again today in May to take the plunge.

Not surprisingly, I compare my response to art to my response to new people. I realize I have a pretty quick response of "I love this person", (or not) which is not so different from "I love that necklace". It is an immediate, visceral response, a response which comes from lots of signals hitting me at once before I have much of a chance to analyze, edit, or truly consider. With art, I have found that it really helps if I stop, take a breath, question myself after a few days of whether or not I can or want to live without that piece. Then I go look at it again, and often find that it is not quite as beautiful as I remembered, or not so indispensable.

With people, I'm not so good at stepping back, waiting, and listening. I am ready to dive in, because I need to dive in in order to know if that person is so beautiful as I remembered, or not so indispensable. But unlike with art, with people I am often ready to color in what is not there, perhaps making that person who I think I want him or her to be. I'm trying to take a lesson from my response to art and apply it to new people, trying to see them for who they are and not who I wish they might be. It's an interesting new approach!

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