Never Question Weirdness

Modern art?

You know what I hate?

I hate when you’re out in the world, and you see something delightfully, gorgeously weird and out of place, and people are like “What the fuck is that?” Like they’re offended because something is not in its normal order. And they’re not really offended. I mean, they haven’t even thought that much about it, but they’re just so used to the grey way things look, the status quo, the sortof uneventful evenness of everyday life being totally ho-hum. So when they see something new they demand an explanation.

When something weird or bizarre or even inconvenient or terrible happens, let that call you to awareness. Let it wake you up. Let it open your eyes and put new ideas in your head.

When the world reveals itself to you in these unexpected ways, when it shares its quirks and its grief, treat it like a lover. Don’t demand explanations. Accept it with open arms, open mind, open heart. Be grateful that you have been given this moment to see something totally new and precious.

Weekly Assignment: Practice Gratitude

One thought on “Never Question Weirdness

  1. As much as I appreciate the sentiment behind this post, I would suggest that we’re actually biologically wired to notice unusual things in our environment and be wary of them as a survival mechanism. If something wasn’t there last time, perhaps it poses a threat to your existence.

    And I might go a little further and suggest this even works in favour of the artist, who is trying to memorable and provoke a reaction in the viewer (and possibly even be a bit sensationalist to generate media coverage).

    I was watching a mini-series based on the lives of the Impressionists recently and what made that work interesting was the same thing that made it shocking and challenging — that it had never been seen before. People will always have an immediate reaction to anything they behold, and that in itself isn’t probably as valuable as how they come to experience the work over time. In the same way your first impression of a person isn’t necessarily a good indication of how you come to know them over a larger stretch of time. It is human to have immediate visceral reactions to stimuli, but it is also human to meditate on things some more.

    I remember the first time I listened to Rickie Lee Jones’ Pirates album. I had never heard anything like it before. I found it so jarring and befuddling that I turned it off and left the room. But it planted a seed of curiosity and before I knew it I was back listening to it again, and it has become one of my favourite albums of all time. And of course it resulted in me buying many many other Rickie Lee Jones albums too.

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