motionless motion

"Covering Her Eyes" Rick Beerhorst
“Covering Her Eyes” Rick Beerhorst

Imagination has the creative task of making symbols, joining things together in such a way that they throw new light on each other and on everything around them. The imagination is a discovering faculty, a faculty for seeing relationships, for seeing meanings that are special and even quite new.

So we must all move, even with motionless movement, even if we do not see clearly. A few little flames, yes. You can’t grasp them, but anyway we look at them obliquely. To look too directly at anything is to see something else because we force it to submit to the impertinence of our preconceptions. After a while though everything will speak to us if we let it and do not demand that it say what we dictate.”

Thomas Merton, 1964

I am a big fan of Rick Beerhorst’s seeing/not-seeing paintings. I want to repost them every time a new one comes up. I find this one mildly disconcerting because of the older children who have their eyes open, and in a sense are enforcing the blindness, setting a stage for an act of Not Seeing. One child stares directly at the viewer; we, of course, as viewers, are also, by default, in the looking/seeing camp, so we become complicit. Still, the smallest, “blinded” child is peacefully interior. Patient and relaxed. In motionless motion.


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