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Monday, 10 October 2011

The Art of Just Being...




One of my favourite works of art (among many, I might add!) is this sculpture by Albert Toft called The Spirit of Contemplation.

She sits, somewhat overlooked by her modern counterparts and the rush of the new, in the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle upon Tyne.

I've known her for over thirty years.   We are old friends, she and I.

When I first caught sight of this life-size bronze, I thought her impossibly beautiful and unattainable.   I wanted to be her.

I might have spoken before about my aspiration to have been an artist's inspiration.   His muse.   I think the time for that has fled.

But the spirit still gazes unseeingly out at an unknown future, lost to contemplation and reverie.

Who she was to the artist, Albert Toft, I do not know.   I can find little about him online.

The shock of the new.   L'Art Nouveau, as it was at that time.

And this leads me to ask, what time do any of us take for contemplation in this day and age?

Most of us run from task to task;   from work to home;   from bus to tram to pounding the pavement;   from thought to fleeting thought, to ennui...   From one demand on our time to another, in fact.

I am asking you to take a few moments out today, mes muses, to just sit and be.   Not to do.   Anything.   Other than breathe...   I am asking for just a few minutes of your time.

Spend them in contemplation, as I will do.   Observe your thoughts as they pass though your mind, but do not allow them to derail you from just sitting and being.   Concentrate on your breathing.

In.

And out.   Focus on the out breath.   The exhale.   Make it as long as you can and feel those tense muscles across your back, chest and shoulders begin to loosen.

Let those thoughts go.   There will be ample time to attend to them when you cease your contemplative moment.

Merely sit and close your eyes to the world.   Still the mind.

Breathe.

And be...

For, after all, we are human Be-ings, as opposed to human Do-ings, non?

Tell me how it goes for you?!   Do you feel a little less fraught?   A tad less anxious?   I hope it for you.

A la prochaine, mes bloggy blackberries - Well, we're in October already, non?!   Blackberry time.

See you in the hedge-rows!

14 comments:

Mrs Jones said...

Blimey - that's a sculpture? It looks like a Victorian photograph, and left me thinking that the poor woman's going to end up with awful backache sitting in that position. It is, however, very beautiful, lovely sweeping lines.

Reasons said...

I like her! I am not a fan of the mad rush. It vexes me. I am the tortoise, not the hare, built for comfort not for speed. I have been meaning to try a little meditation, now I shall be sure to follow our advice :-) xx

Scriptor Senex said...

Fhina, I'm always less fraught after reading your blog postings! Merci beaucoup.

(Can you just send me some earplugs so I can't hear the sound of the wind as I sit here trying to calm myself. I'm sure one of our trees is about to come down. At least I'll be less tense when it hits me.)

Karen S. said...

Thank - you so much, we often forget about just stopping for a moment and just reflect. This statue always has stood out for just doing that...Contemplation is a luxury that we have and offers so much for us, and costs no money, just a moment of our time....! Your post is like a regifting to ourselves....taking time to do just this is always there waiting to be reopened! ;)

Expat mum said...

I cannot believe I've never seen that sculpture in the Laing before. Must go next time.
And yes, I was thinking only this morning that one of the reasons I hate to get up in the morning is because I literally don't stop "doing" till I go to bed at night. I usually put in a load of washing before I even come down to the kitchen in the morning (the washer's upstairs) and I've tidied up hallways etc. before my first cup of tea. I have lost the art of relaxation.

Gigi said...

This is an art that I need to master! I try and I try....but I can't just stop and be.

ArtistUnplugged said...

Wow, that is an interesting sculpture, so different with the poor posture. I think she's just worn out from doing all the laundry and cooking.......sad, such an unartistic way of looking at it!!!! That is the mom/wife laborer mindset, someone that averages 18-20 loads of wash a week and finding creative ways to keep the "Hulk" man-child fed and his picky father (daughter is easy - thankfully!) I need to stop, ponder, breathe......okay, there you go, nope, didn't do it right I suppose! Hey waaaay over there, have a super fab day "mi lady"!!!!!!

libby said...

This is a repeat posting....I think I forget the word verification thingy and just assume all is ok......I cannot wait to see that sculpture now because it is really really fabulous......and breathe!

Bee said...

Hello, lovely one . . . I just stopped by to say hello and thank you for your kind message (btw, I feel I'm nearing blog-world reentry after a bad patch) . . . but I was much taken with this post.

This sculpture is so intriguing; usually thrones are so upright, but this one is wonderfully curved and slouch-making.

Just today I walked to the top of a hill and took a few minutes to admire the view. Oh, it has been much too much of a long time.

Blowing you a big bloggy kiss!

Suldog said...

I'm amazed at that being a sculpture! It looks like a photograph. Magnificent work.

The Tame Lion said...

Inspirational!
Thanks for sharing, my dear friend.

Dragonfly Dreams said...

I, too, am now in love with that sculpture. Perfection extraordinaire. My heart lives in that time....thank you for sharing.

SP said...

I love it but I wonder why it was necessary for her to be sitting in the nip.

Perhaps it was so that shallow people like me wouldn't be distracted by the fab shoes and not really appreciate it.

SP

A Woman Of No Importance said...

You lot are fabulous - SP, she's actually wearing a slip kind of thing, but it is diaphanous! I can't leave the number at 13 comments... You know how I feel about the number 13! xxx

Something I wrote earlier...

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