Color’s Determined Boldness

I recently decided to participate more fully in our pandemic by letting The Washington Post send me a week of advice/activities for dealing with the “lockdown.” I got the first one today. One thing it said struck me. It relates to time.

“…attention, emotion, stress and novelty, researchers say, are all related to how we perceive time.” 

The article goes on to say, “… time, as we perceive it, is “extremely malleable,” said Martin Wiener, an assistant professor of psychology at George Mason University. It acts just like a sense does, he said. And like hearing or sight, it can be tricked… Factors like attention, emotion, stress and novelty…are all related to how we perceive time. Uncertainty, grief and isolation have stretched them all.

Time is a weird thing. Some belief systems say there is no time; that it’s an illusion, and what we have is duration. I like that idea, though it’s admittedly a little difficult for me to wrap my head around.

Living alone and retired in a small mountain town is at least half-way toward a “lockdown” so, I can’t say I’ve really experienced the “timewarp” of the pandemic. That’s fine with me. My experience of it is mostly through my awareness of the deadly, political blustering of our Asshole in Chief balanced by scientific information from the ambient world and the wisdom of my state’s governor.

“On call with campaign staff, President Trump says people are tired of hearing about coronavirus. ‘People are saying whatever. Just leave us alone. They’re tired of it. People are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots…Fauci is a nice guy. He’s been here for 500 years’.”

The pandemic’s effect on my daily life has been through my understanding that it’s scary and my resolution not to get sick. I also feel the reality that no one is OK right now. The “ordinary” tragedies of life are not on lockdown. People are still going to struggle with their lives, personal problems, dread diseases. COVID 19 is like a glaze an artist might paint over an entire painting to give it a particular color “cast,” or the sobering darkness left by time on a work of dazzling color.

I enjoy watching Waldemar Januszczak’s art history documentaries. I get to see paintings and places, and I learn a little something. 😉 Last night I was watching his biographical piece on Manet. There was a painting — The Old Musician — being restored at the National Gallery. Waldemar said to the restorer, “Wow! Is this the same painting?”

“Yes,” she said. “We’ve removed all the yellow varnish. Now we have all these colors.” Since the viewer probably had no memory of the painting before, the film showed the restoration process in progress at one point. I was moved by the determination of color.

P.S. I don’t think I’ll ever use the word “hardihood.” Sorry. It’s just kind of weird.

25 thoughts on “Color’s Determined Boldness

  1. “Hardihood”…hmmm.. One of my favorite words to avoid is “functionality”. My daughter in law hates “mouthfeel” and “moist”. One could do a whole post of unpleasant words. I see you were moved enough by the hardihood of color to avoid the word right there.

  2. The color change in those 2 versions is really astounding. The pandemic IS like a glaze covering a painting. That description really fits. Sigh. I have no idea about hardihood. Using “friend” as a verb is kind of creepy. I don’t like it. (no surprise I’m not on FB haha)

    • I think “friend” as a verb is creepy too. And I hate “resonate” but now I use it. We already had the perfectly good “resound.” As for Facebook, my presence is very limited. I have 72 friends and they are really friends, family and business connections (art). I might not even use it if it weren’t the way a lot of business is done here in the San Luis Valley.

      • “Resonate” was the overused word of choice when I was in writing groups – during critiques. Facebook is here to stay for the business community, so it makes sense to keep it at least for that — and for Real friends. 🙂

  3. Thanks again for a great blog. PBS had a show called “Lost Masterpieces” Great fun. Will have to track down the documentaries. Lucky to be able to get out and spend time in nature. Go Fauci.His response to Orange boy is so classy.

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