My quest: answer this question:
If you could live with any piece of famous art, which would you choose and why?After thinking long and hard on my daily lunch walk, I went through a couple of different ideas.
(provided by didyouhavejuice, joint teacher's pet for Mrs. Fisher's tenth grade English class)
Option one: Choose a piece of music I love
I started thinking immediately outside of the box, and started thinking of music that I would love to have interact with me. Something that really describes a lot of my moods and whims. The problem I ran into was that I have too many moods, from mischievous to melancholy. content to contentious. One musical work (or song cycle, for that matter) just didn't cover all the options. Needless to say, Option one quickly became Option two.
Option two: Choose an historic or famous concert venue
I started really liking this idea. I mean, who wouldn't want their own concert hall that they could go hop into? On nights that had concerts, I could just hop in to my assigned seat (and yes, I have had dreams that the Morrison Center is attached to my parent's garage) and listen to whoever might be playing. On days where there weren't concerts, I could go pull out the 7 foot concert Steinway and play to my heart's content.
It had to be somewhere where you could get full musical productions, orchestras, choirs, and rock concerts. I considered the castle where the Savonlinna Opera Festival is held (meaning Finland would be a bit closer), the Sydney Opera House, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, or even the Kennedy Center.
I started thinking a bit more about this, and realized that such great big places bring great big crowds. I don't care for people encroaching on my personal space, so Option two begrudgingly became Option three.
Option three: Choose a place where I feel at peace
There are few places that can just wash everything away. One of my favorite places is at the base of Schoolroom Glacier in the tops of the Tetons. It is quite the hike to get there, as it is at the base of the Grand Teton on the Wyoming side of the border, but when I was there for an evening, I felt like I could sit and stare into the milky, turquoise water forever. As much as I liked the idea of having this be my backyard, I felt like I would be defiling the area with my human touch.
The second place I thought of is near a well known Pacific Northwestern town next to a bustling zoo and one of the US's oldest rose gardens. Wifey and I happened to go there on our honeymoon, and I have been wanting to go back ever since. You might have guessed by now that it is the Japanese Gardens in Portland. You can take a little tour below.
For those of you who are thinking this is totally cheating, consider this: many artists manipulate stone, paint, tones, and other media to evoke an emotional reaction. Just because some of the elements that the artist still uses are alive doesn't make it any less of an art form. There is careful planning involved, and having tried my hand (quite unsuccessfully) at growing bonsai trees, I realize just how hard this can be.
I would choose these pieces of artwork because they have the ability to transport me away from the city. I enjoy the bustle of the city, but I like having a sanctuary where I can hide. I'm fine with the company of my own thoughts. I don't need entertaining distractions to keep me occupied. I have enough distractions in my day to pull me away from the things that are most important to me.
There are enough kinetic elements (like the koi pond, the waterfalls, and the blowing leaves) to keep me engaged in the mainly static forms of the garden. If I feel mentally stuck, I could hop to another bench or take a stroll. And when I need to do some physical labor to help with my mental processes, there would always be plenty to do. I would leave a majority of the work up to the gardeners, but would enjoy being apprenticed by them. It sounds like a good option for retirement to me.
So next time someone is planning on transporting their Japanese garden to a different location, please let them know that I would be happy to take it.