Surrealism is one of my favorite art movements. It is a pretty recent "love" but and quite surprising given my classic upbringing and education. I instinctively enjoy its witty way of making me look deeper at images, making me think. But knowing (intellectually) is very different than understanding (emotionally), and it seems the the world decided it is about time to teach me the difference between the two...
For the last few weeks, I had to come to terms with the nearing end of Irene, my mother in law, a person who was very dear to me. A phone call in the middle of the night separated the world as it was, from the one it became - a world without her. After the funeral and the traditional "Shivaa", only starting to grasp the enormity of it all, my husband and I returned to Frankfurt, Germany to take care of the things she left behind: furniture, clothes, apartment... Taking a few hours off from this gruesome task, we went to see Magritte's exhibit. Moving from image to image, without the benefit of the audio guide (German only :(...) - a light turned on.
The images, besides being aesthetically stunning, were an exact reflection of my state of mind. A world that makes no sense, where there seem to be two coexisting spaces: an internal one that holds up to a reality that no longer exist, and an external one where the sun is shining (actually it was kind of cloudy), the trees are full of buds and someone else will soon move in to her apartment. Just as plausible as a pair of pants standing by themselves on the table.
I realize, and not for the first time either, that there is some part of me that understands things before the mind does. More then once, I fell in love/felt compelled to do something without really understanding why. On my unexpected love of Surrealism, it seems my brain finally caught up with the ??/mind/spirit/whatever it is that fell in love in the first place. Now, back to being the rational me, I start wondering what/where is this "understanding" mind. Where does it hide? Where does it go when the body it was connected to is gone ...?