Sunday, 29 October 2017

Andrew Marr reaches for immortality

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'Our world is beautiful; but also very boring. I am writing this in Florida, once an untamed tract of mangroves and marshy rainforest, full of wildness and surprising beauty, but now a huge, bleak grid of turnpikes and motorways, endlessly scored across with lines of concrete and wire. Unlovely barrack-like buildings and a tangle of advertising signs offer a rare splash of colour. The roads are congested; as cars dawdle alongside you, you see angry and frustrated faces flinching at the red lights ahead. Everybody is on the move. Everybody, it seems, is anxious to be somewhere else. Time is sliced into harried segments.


'That is one person's impression of life in one place, but there is a more general point. Almost wherever we are, our experience of life is often of boredom and frustration. We are glued into time, the fourth dimension, and yet there is never nearly enough of it. And this, for me, is the point of art. Art helps us to stop off and remind ourselves that we are making but a brief visit to a beautiful world. Remembering this regularly is probably a way to be happy.
Painting is a system of communication with only one message, the sensation of being alive more intensely than normal.'

So begins a great article by Andrew Marr on how his mild stroke made him realise that life is very short as well as very beautiful and made him resolve to try to be a good painter.

I recommend you read it because it is so beautifully written, though the fact that he is a very beautiful writer makes me ask why he wants to excel in another art where he is unlikely to be nearly so gifted. 

But the answer is because he feels a deep need to do so. Very good for him. 

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