Monday, September 26, 2011


Thank you, everyone.  Thank you for all your visits to my blog despite my recent absence.  I've recently moved and now that I'm settled into my new home, I'm ready to get back to releasing my inner need to write.  Thank you for Waiting.

Class warfare and dividing lines being drawn in the proverbial sand are a daily occurrence.  Shamefully, one side or the other tries to create a swath between their like and others who may be dramatically different.  Rich and poor, gay and straight, single and married, one race and another; if you try hard enough, you can find any particular sect working to alienate their immediate rival.  Yet all of it is ultimately frivolous and petty considering the basics facts of life and needs we all share which seem to be sorely forgotten all too much.

It doesn't take one too long to name someone who is extraordinarily wealthy.  Ask that same person if he or she knows of someone poor and homeless, and you will often get a blank stare or empty pondering.  Taking a look at any inner city climate, and you'll easily find one race pitted against another in something as logically silly as unofficial territory and ownership.  Often riddled in controversy and spiteful anger, one group of people will be taking legal or illegal actions to defame, ridicule, and separate from another when the energy and passion (misguided or not) could be more simply applied elsewhere and for much greater ambitions.

There are no rhetorical ways around it, sometimes being blunt is the only means in which to express truth and I won't dance around for the sake of this point.  The homeless Vet on the corner near Costco bleeds the same color blood, has to evacuate his bowels, and feels the same emotions as does Bill Gates or Oprah Winfrey.  Perhaps the Vet doesn't have the same means to arrive at his ends but nonetheless, the ends for Gates and Winfrey are the same for the Vet.  Boiled down, color, creed, religion, political belief, and everything else mean nothing because the life that lives inside one person is the same that lives inside his or her "polar opposite".  Why can't more people accept this?

Waiting, by Edgar Degas (1834-1917) is the portrait of a young, athletic ballerina seated on a bench which she shares with an older, more drably dressed woman.  Each has her purpose for being seated which this particular painting does not seem to indicate but we can each surmise for ourselves.  There is nothing glamorous or elegant about either woman as they are depicted though Degas took the time to indicate that one woman comes from a glamorous and elegant lifestyle while the other does not.  Dressed properly for the period and for each woman's stature, each is addressing a real life need by being seated on the same bench.

As the ballerina rest wearily on her right arm and rubs her left foot, she appears to be exhausted from efforts just moments ago.  Meanwhile, to her left, the older woman seems lost in thought and awaiting an outcome to something for which she exhibits forced patience due to circumstance.  Each woman is a contrast of the other--one virile and youthful, the other aged and mournful--easily seen in how she dresses, what is implied, and where she may be going.

Degas, with incredible sensitivity and purpose, smoothly displays the surroundings to ensure our eyes are focused tightly on each subject and the bench they share.  The palette and shadows are all subdued in order to ensure we each take more time to evaluate the women and who they are, rather than why. Poignantly, these two contrasting figures utilize the same tool for varying reasons but with the same ends.  One may be waiting for her audition results while the other awaits a taxi yet they are both there for the same outcome.

This piece is an exercise in tolerance.  It stands for something that has existed since the dawn of man and is gracefully displayed with beauty and simplicity.  Each is equally aware of the other yet their needs are being met in mutual fashion and that makes all things right.

So take a seat on the bench.  Relax and await the outcome you seek.  And when someone sits next to you, know that he or she is exercising his or her ability to be a complete and total equal to you.  Strip away the preconceived notions and dividing lines to see that in the end, it is the same ending for you as it is for anyone else.

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