Eclectic, quirky, and sometimes edgy…this is how things look from my front porch.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Persistence of Memory - Redeem the Time

I was a real rebel (smirk) in my teens.  I'd cut out of school all the time to do risky teenage things to thumb my nose at my parents.  Uh,....not so much.  I would, indeed, cut out of school - which I found boring and not suited to my type of learning.  I'd take a train into New York City and smoke dope in a park?  Nope! Try to score some weed in Morningside Heights?  Ut uh!

I took time off from school without permission to (GASP) visit museums  I would learn by myself at the Museum of National History, the Museum of Modern Art, Lincoln Center (magnificent paintings by Marc Chagall adorn the inside), the Guggenheim, the Frick Collection, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

I marveled over the exhibit of Monet's years in his beloved Giverny.


I loved that he painted as he did because he was so nearsighted...just like me.  I contemplated the differences between El Greco's "Crucifixtion" and Salvador Dali's painting of the same name from 400 years later.

"Rebel" that I was, I daresay I learned many more useful things that I would have in Mr. Vene's math class, which I detested.  I bet I am the only Ward Melville High School kid who cut classes to go to museums. In fact, I spoke with Jim Pew, my co-worker from Long Island,  who took the same opportunity to eat buttered bagels and drink warm "appropriated" Heinekens.  Don't tell his Mom.

One of the most fascinating paintings I ever saw is the one pictured above, Dali's "The Persistence of Memory."  Seeing paintings on the Internet doesn't hold a paintbrush to actually standing before the work and seeing the strokes of paint.  This is particularly interesting with Monet, to see up close that which seems abstract, then to back up and see the dots that coalesce into beauty,  Your heart breaks for Vincent, so tortured that it emerges from the thick smears of paint he flung onto canvas from a palette knife.

God gives us such amazing talents.  Some of this emerges in paintings like both Crucifixions or Michelangelo's magnificent work showing Adam just missing the hand of God.  Sister Wendy used her talent to become a major art critic by reading books and post cards depicting great artistic works.

Interview Sister Wendy Beckett

She is delightful.

But back to the Persistence of Memory.

Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.…Ephesians 15 and 16.

The painting illustrates this verse for me.  I love the concept of redeeming time, which is found in the King James version. Other versions say "make the most of" time,  I like concept of redeeming time a lot better. We redeem time, by making the most of it, by taking advantage of all our opportunities to work for the Lord.

The clocks have become distorted and are slipping away, which (along with the desolate wasteland surrounding them) illustrates unredeemed time.

The late Stephen Covey (7 Habits of Highly Effective People) talks about time in quadrants as follows:

*Urgent and important (someone has to go to the ER)
*Urgent and not important particularly (someone is calling or knocking on the door)
*Important, but not urgent (Bible study, planning your next month or week, learning a new skill) and
*Not urgent and not important (gossipy phone calls, watching Law and Order reruns, stewing, fretting, worrying, thinking about hurt feelings, regretting the past, being angry with folks you believe spitefully used you).

Covey calls the last quadrant a "quadrant of waste."

Stephen Covey

Dali should have called his painting "The Quadrant of Waste" instead,  He's picturing unredeemed time in a wasteland.

Children of Light:  "Redeem the time, because the days are evil."

...And just for fun "The Persistence of Cookie"

Cookie, cookie, cookie starts with C

1 comment:

Judy said...

Where have I been? I've just had a pleasant morning catching up with you.