{ Enjoying Ash Mae }

I'm supposed to be designing a newsletter for a freelance client right now but have decided blogging about this will be more enjoyable. I went to the extremely enjoyable BFA show of an acquaintance of mine (Ashley Mae Christensen) this evening, and it made me sad that we aren't closer friends.

The only artwork of hers that I had seen previous to the show were lovely birds as shown below (I use this one as my desktop because I love it so much -- it's just so warm):

So I went to the show with the anticipation of seeing more of the birds which I am so fond of, only to be met with something even more wonderful. The best way to describe the show, as I saw it, in one line or less is this:

"A completely engrossing and beautiful step into Ashley Mae's mind."

It was a step saturated with awe, admiration of beauty and peaceful remembrance. So so nice to enjoy for an hour this evening.

The paintings (rendered on that coarse colored paper you used to make those hand turkeys in elementary school) were hung on grey walls. They seemed to represent a melding of memories, feelings and impressions that Ashley had had in her life at sometime, all pleasant or thought-provoking. And they were accompanied by about 10 of her stories, thoughts and poems scattered throughout the artwork. I think the words were my favorite part of the exhibit. They all just shared such beautiful things, and they made me want to pause and soak in the beauty of life more often (see writings below). Too often, at least in my life, I think stupid things like busy-ness seem to get in the way of remembering to soak in how stunning life really is, which is sad. This was a nice reminder.

A small sign near the door of the exhibit said something to the affect of "If you see a painting you particularly enjoy, sign your name next to it. It is yours, as a gift..." How awesome is that?! I signed my name next to the piece that is pictured at the top of this entry; it reminded me of being lifted upward (as it resembles a balloon and has a parachute in the background), and all that that entails. And I loved it most because of its bursting, full color. I will be grateful to have a tangible memory of tonight.

Below is a picture of some of the words that accompanied the paintings. I have transcribed them below the photo for your reading ease. I also included the words to one chunk of text that is not pictured. They were my three favorite writings there.

pictured on left:
I think it’s an amazing thing to be brought out to sea on someone else’s ship for a short while. Maybe we feel nervous, maybe it seems that they are captaining all wrong, that the anchor should be placed sooner, that the waves are too big, but then we look up and see that we’ve been taken to a beautiful place, entirely new, we’ve never seen the sea like this before. We look back and see that we are a long way from shore, with only the hope of trust that our friend will get us back safely. And most likely they will, though perhaps not in the way we would have done it, but they have been doing things this way, maybe all their lives, it is their essence. You love that essence, embrace it, don’t seek to mold it into your own, even if you do know a more efficient way home. You do this because next week you will invite them out on your ship, and they may feel just the same way you once did, but you will both be the better for the experience. The sea, with all it’s monotony, may be a new place because of the way you saw your friend look upon it.

pictured on right:
I have been thinking about something Katy read to me from a book. It talked about in making a decision, often the most difficult thing about it is the decisions not made because of it.
Life could go a 1,000 ways. That’s scary. We make the best of what we choose. We create joy. There is a difference between joy and fun, I love fun, but I want joy. On a farm maybe?

not pictured but equally as loved:
Today Davey and I went climbing a tree. Davey was far up in the bendy branches and I was just perched on the lowest one, swinging my legs in the autumn air. I looked up and said, “Davey you’re good at climbing trees.” He said thank you. I said, “Davey, are you scared?” and I heard him say from above me as I looked up at the bottoms of his shoes, “I’m always scared on the way down.”

Every so often, and it does not come about easily, in one sitting, or even forty, we create a line, an image, a thought that stops us, reminds us there is something more, a God. To me, that brief and inexplicable revelation of understanding is like the moment lightening flashes, you know you’ve seen it, it was beautiful, and for s split second, it revealed the whole valley to you. Fell upon you and blessed you in the dark and in the rain.

I wish I had a proper explanation for my humanness, I wish I could sit down with you and tell you what it’s like, all of it. But then again, part of me doesn’t wish to tell you at all, part of me only wishes to experience with you the first star of the night. We could stand next to one another and see it high in the orange sky, above the mountain line, below the falling blue, the crickets would be singing, but us, we would not talk at all. How could we ever explain anything, even less, beauty. In the air between us, maybe God would tell us something, like how we don’t need to be afraid, even when we are falling.


Club Narwhal said...

GLORIOUS! thank you for sharing. you and ashmae need to be friends in a huge way.

Bonnie said...

Wow. She really does have beautiful thoughts doesn't she? I wish I could see the exhibit. I think I'd love it.

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