CXV. The White Grape

November 8, 2013 — The white grape on my hors d’oeuvre plate rolled onto the floor in the corner in front of the closet, so I picked it up, wiped it off and ate it so it wouldn’t roll off in the center of the gathering and create a scene.

I was attending the annual artists reception at our local historic opera house. I walked along the walls of the two rooms, viewed all the pictures and incidental artwork. I finished eating my hors d’oeuvres, ate no cake for dessert, drank the small glass of opaque purple wine, exhibited in my hand like a royal crimson smudge on the chronicles of the peoples. I tossed my clear plastic plate and glass into the trash.

Moriarty came up behind me, then, tapped me on the shoulder and told me it was time to go. I remarked how amazed I always am at the wealth of local talent, and then I quietly exited down the stairs.

I removed my stick-on nametag as I descended the three flights. Against the outside brick wall of the opera house, well lit and encased in glass, I was keenly aware that I was exhibited in my descent.

I walked home alone in the dark.

Once home I ate a bowl of rich pumpkin soup from our nearby farm market and finished it off with bread pudding from our Odd Fellows Café. The works of artisans.

I sat out on my front porch after eating, sipping a glass of red Zinfandel, beneath the golden leaves of the walnut tree thriving in my flower bed, mourned its loss before it was gone, melancholic – the huzun, the Turks call it – soon to happen, for if it stayed in its place growing there under my porch, it would eat my house. I stared at the hundred year old Norway spruce etched against the night sky across the street.

Artists, I ruminated, know art comes from nowhere. The music of the spheres. What artists see and they create comes spontaneously. It’s not there and then it is. It is not something expected and then comes and you can arrogantly spout platitudes about or look down you nose about as you try to explain to lesser beings the work you have done. Works of art are not entities you can lord over awestruck others. Only the impresarios, the ones who present the art in a forum of camaraderie, food and wine or on a theater stage can do that. Artists simply visualize or hear the work and record it. Artists don’t know whence it comes, and they are humbled in that knowing, in its genesis and its presence.

It is with life the same. It’s temporal. We come, we exist, we exhibit what we create and then we quietly go.

There’s nothing to hold superior to that of others; all come and go, create and exhibit in their own ways, in their own time. There is parity in this.

There is no hierarchy; there are no mind games. Mind games are played by those caught in themselves, those mesmerized by their own images in the mirror – the adored but illusionary phantom.

Does art imitate nature or does nature imitate art? The proverbial and paradisal question, the eternal paradox. Does art merely mirror the spectator? Does art express anything but itself? Does it simply exist?

The white grape rolled off my plate and onto the floor in the corner in front of the closet. I bent and picked it up, wiped it off and ate it.

—Samantha Mozart