>The Meaning Comes Later

>Last year my friend (and Goddaughter) Katherine gave me a wonderful gift. She was downsizing—moving her family to a smaller town and a smaller house—and was selling and giving away a number of things from her house here in midtown Memphis. And so I ended up with a large, beautifully framed picture by Joan Miro:

“The Ballerina.”

It hangs in our den, where I think of Katherine every time I pause to look at it.

But I also think about the meaning behind the brushstrokes from time to time.

I wasn’t familiar with Miro when I received it, but after reading about this Spanish artist’s roots and influences and looking at more of his works online, I began to love the painting more.

And then today I found this quote by Miro:

“The painting rises from the brushstrokes as a poem rises from the words. The meaning comes later.”

His words caused me to rethink the way I look at a painting, and also the way I read a poem. I would love to write an ekphrastic poem about this painting, and maybe I will some day. (I learned about ekphrastic poetry from the Orthodox poet and writer, Scott Cairns, when I attended a spiritual writing workshop led by him last year.)

In the meanwhile, I’ll leave you to ponder its meaning. And to consider these words by Aristotle:

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.”

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