A blog is always a work in progress, as those of you who have a blog know quite well! I've come to realize that Wednesday should be reserved for things having to do with language and words. I started the year with discovering new words in the dictionary and then last week posted the bit about our word game ritual. Tonight, I'm going to share with you a quote from the book I'm reading....because it's ultimately a quote about art and it captures what art makes possible in a language I didn't think possible. This is actually a quote from Marcel Proust and it is part of a much longer Proust quote in the book I'm currently reading, The Proust Project. The names he refers to in the quote are composers and he is talking in this context about music, but let these words wash over you...substitute the artist (author, painter, composer, dancer, etc.) that has meaning for you and tell me if this doesn't describe the power and the possibility of the creative spirit.
"...But in that case is it not true that those elements--all the residium of reality which we are obliged to keep to ourselves, which cannot be transmitted in talk, even from friend to friend, from master to disciple, from lover to mistress, that ineffable something which differentiates qualitatively what each of us has felt and what he obliged to leave behind at the threshold of the phrases in which he can communicate with others only by limiting himself to externals, common to all and of no interest--are brought out by art, the art of a Vinteuil like that of an Elstir, which exteriorises in the colours of the spectrum the intimate composition of those worlds which we call individuals and which, but for art, we should never know? A pair of wings, a different respiratory system, which enabled us to travel through space, would in no way help us, for if we visited Mars or Venus while keeping the same senses, they would clothe everything we could see in the same aspect as the things of Earth. The only true voyage, the only bath in the Fountain of Youth, would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes, to see the universe through the eyes of another, of a hundred others, to see the hundred universes that each of them sees, that each of them is; and this we can do with an Elistir, with a Vinteuil; with men like these we really do fly from star to star."
--Marcel Proust, from The Captive