Friday, October 15, 2010

Being transported - with a nod to steven wright

A work of art, a piece of music, a dance, a story can take you from the hub-bub of where you are to, at least in your mind, a more serene place. From the ordinary to the extraordinary. Performances can be moving. We may say of a less satisfying performance, ‘it did not transport me.’

I was driving through town the other day with a van of students heading toward a field site. The scene was not at all hub-bub-ish, just an ordinary drive through town, but the radio caught my attention with a piano rendition of one of the Brahms symphonies. I kept my mind on the serious business of driving, but listened more closely to the music and found that it put me in a different frame of mind, in a different place.

Since we were on the way to the Monacle Lake woodland, one of my favorite field sites, I thought about the feeling one gets when viewing a favorite landscape. Can we say it takes you away like art takes you away? Where does it take you? Aren’t you already there?

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