The yellow story
Chapter 3: part 2: PATTERNS
by Daria Lanz
I was having a shit few days. Like, really shit. And I was feeling pretty blue about the shit.
There’s always shit. In everyones lives. Sometimes the shit is more, sometimes it’s less. Sometimes it comes from outside forces, and sometimes it comes from within. I was feeling a mix of both this particular time.
Elise sent me a canvas wrapped in material. The material had an interesting pattern on it. But what’s more interesting is that she painted the back of the canvas material with white paint. I don’t know what her intention was for that, but it planted the seed that I could paint the back of the canvas too, and let whatever I painted shine through.
So back to the shit. Remember that? Yeah. It was still really shitty.
I was browsing the web while feeling down about myself and life and what I was doing and who I was surrounded by and not surrounded by, and everything that I hadn’t accomplished yet, and this and that and, and, and…….!
and then I came across this, by Alan Watts:
The existence, the physical universe is basically playful.
There is no necessity for it whatsoever.
It isn’t going anywhere. That is to say it doesn’t have some destination that it ought to arrive at.
But it is best understood by analogy with music.
Because music, as an art form, is essentially playful.
We say you play the piano, you don’t work the piano.
Why? Music differs from, say, travel.
When you travel you are trying to get somewhere.
In music, though, one doesn’t make the end of the composition the point of the composition.
If that were so, the best conductors would be those who played fastest.
And there would be composers who wrote only finales.
People would go to a concert just to hear one crackling chord, because that’s the end!
Same with dancing. You don’t aim at a particular spot in the room because that’s where you should arrive.
The whole point of dancing is the dance.
But we don’t see that as something brought by our education into our everyday conduct.
We’ve got a system of schooling which gives a completely different impression.
It was a film narrated by Alan Watts. And it was exactly what I needed to hear. I needed the reminder that life isn’t about measuring up, or ‘shoulds’ and ‘shouldn’ts’. It’s about the journey, not the end goal. It’s about the dancing and the singing. The meaning of life is to give life meaning. It’s as simple as that.
And so, as I was staring at Elise’s material canvas, I was reminded that we all have patterns in our lives, where we beat ourselves up or feel down in the dumps.
And it’s ok.
The cycle will swing up again. It’s all going to be fine, and we’re all doing way better than we think we are. The night is darkest before the dawn, and sometimes we need a little extra light to see the dancing and the singing around us.
So it became very obvious what I needed to make on the back of that canvas. I needed to remind myself to dance.
To ride the patterns of life,
and fucking enjoy the waves.
I started by designing the layout and typography.
And then I painted it in with black paint. And finally, I attached LED lights to the back, creating an installation piece.
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