The power of images can transcend the propulsion of words

by DRM

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What a gift it is to make an impression that captures the sense of words but lifts free from their anchors!   When I came across the image above, one of a vast set of particular collages by a Minnesota artist, I vividly confronted the prosaic grind of the long project I am working on now.

The artist describes her work:

Personal collages, compositions (gatherings) driven by inspirations, longing, wonder and truth … Stories (real or imagined) expressed in the spirit of meditation or play …

In my office I have boxes of artifacts from two lives that spanned the 20th century.  These photos and records are the residue of anger, frustration and despair.  These weren’t big lives, but they were lived in a way that took a brutal toll on a small family.

My story is a narrative.  The arc of two people who began their paths in different worlds, collided and conjoined on one eventful evening only to share their personal demons for the rest of the century.

As I look at the collage, I feel a moment of inspiration.  The fragments show how the incompleteness of our experience can feed a coherent soul, how our identity can overcome ruptures to reflect an inner order. We can experience the evanescent grace of beauty from the fragments.

If I can only capture some of the same sense of the moment, the mystery of the connections, the understanding of how the past gifts us the future, then I’ll be pleased at having done the work that I set out to do.