Friday, April 20, 2007

Young Kafka, A Dalai Lama

A painting done in 1995 by Mexican painter Arturo Elizondo (b. 1956). It is now housed in the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
So I just watched this movie with Christopher Walken in it called Seven Psychopaths. It's not a great movie. It's not even a very good movie. But it's not terrible either. I'd say it's a notch or two above mediocre. And I'm watching this movie and there are several scenes that are good-not-great. And while I'm watching them, I'm kind of puzzled and scratching my head and thinking to myself: "This is a decent scene. But I BET if you had a crack at the screenplay before production started, you could have turned this scene into something really tremendous. Something that people would quote to each other late at night, while drunk." And then after the movie is over I listen to an old Led Zeppelin song, from a concert they did. It's "Going to California." Anyway, while I'm listening to it, again, I think of you, and I think about how some of my blood and a bunch of my words are, in fact, "going to California," to greet with you. And THEN, for some strange-ass reason, I think of this painting that I love, that's hanging in the New York MOMA, called "Young Kafka, A Dalai Lama." And I'm imagining the picture, and looking at the picture, and imagining the picture... And then I'm imagining the two of us standing in front of the picture in the New York MOMA, and we're holding hands, and looking at the painting very intently, and very quietly. And all these people are walking by us, looking at the painting briefly, and then walking on. And time kind of slows down for us, and, in the same way that there seem to be either flower petals or large snowflakes hanging in the air in the painting, while young Kafka stands on the surface of a lake, so also are we suddenly aware that the motes of dust in the air around us, and the passersby, and their swishing scarves, are all frozen still in the air. And yet somehow we can turn our heads to look at each other, even in the midst of frozen time. And we are aware that the ground we stand on has properties very much like liquid, or even air. And it's only because we are there together, wondering about the crack of the universe, and stillness, and the yearning to express the depths of time and loneliness, that are all evoked by the painting, that we are not sinking through the floor into the stone, like sinking into liquid.

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