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living in a monet

August 25, 2010
Path Through The Irises

Path through the Irises, by Monet

“I can’t see past the full extension of my arm without contacts,” I explained to my friend, Christopher, as we sat on a balcony in the Bronx discussing the need for corrective lenses among other things.

“Really? Wow!  That’s pretty bad.”

“I know, right?!  It’s kind of like living in a Monet.”  I said, trying to describe what the world looks like through my unaided eyes.  But the next day, I stood in front of Monet’s “The Path through the Irises” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and I realized that while my description of what I see without my contacts was correct, my attitude toward it was flawed.

I had described what my world is like without vision aids in the same way Cher from the movie Clueless refers to Monet: “It’s just fine far away, but up close it’s a big ol’ mess.”  (Of course in my case I can see up close and far away everything is a big ol’ mess.)  Not being able to see clearly reminds me of chaos, and I prefer having clear, crisp vision and seeing with exactness the world around me.  This is me, after all!  I’m a planner and enjoyer of order.  I don’t like when the details surrounding my life are blurry, messy and disordered.

Monet's Irises

Irises – one of my favorite flowers

But in reality, Monet’s paintings are not a big mess.  There is an order and purpose about them.   I was mesmerized by the brilliant artistry of Monet, and I was able to see that beauty exists even when the details are undefined.

All too often I find myself distracted by specific aspects or details; I become fidgety when clarity fades; and I am completely oblivious to the beautiful reality of blended elements, shapes and colors that comprise the majority of my life.  Or at least I was until I strolled through various rooms at the museum humbled by my flippant attitude toward the artist extraordinaire.

Most of my life is like living in a Monet, even with corrective lenses.  And it’s not as bad as I thought it was.  In the midst of random and blurry paths, doors, figures, outlines, and other details, there is order and beauty.  My life and the world around me is a work of art.  And yes, that includes the hazy world that reaches beyond the full extension of my arm.

Another example of beauty by Monet

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Christopher Temple permalink
    August 27, 2010 11:44 am

    Beautifully captured. Thank you for sharing a moment of clarity about not getting stuck in the need for clarity. God bless you Cecilia. You are in my prayers.

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