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Contemplating Contemporary Laments - John Threadgill

Contemplating Contemporary Laments - John Threadgill


18" x 24" x 1"


A Contemporary Lament

Ken MacKennick


Messages of life are pervasive, awaiting discovery. Our senses are surrounded and relentlessly bombarded by them. Yet, we prefer and choose oblivion. We avoid, ignore, and flee actuality – the colors of the heavens – the pulsing rhythm of the insects – the percussive beating of our own and our neighbors' hearts. In fear of the unfamiliar messenger, we flee self-evident truths. We then are forced to create our own imperfect realities.


In avoidance, we disdain silence and despise the dark. We mock the mystics; rape and execute the seers. Bored to the point of anxiety, we are depressed by anything subtle. Thus, anything goes.


We barrage ourselves with self-created, robust realities. Our wines must be full-bodied and our sports ultra-violent. We emulate those whose appearance is unattainable. We have polished that which has made us beautiful until the original luster has been eroded to spiritual nothingness. We slash the perfect to see if it will bleed.


We try to enhance our realities, even when we realize that such quests involve magical thinking, which we have soundly rejected. Incoherence has now become fashionably erudite, pathetically pedantic. We take pride in taking the simple, making it complex, and cashing in.


From the stench of our smoky and noise-filled cities, we have forgotten the sweetness and peacefulness of the meadows. We have come to think of clamor and stench as ordinary. We can no longer appreciatively touch; we must instinctually grab. We no longer dance in pairs or groups. Beleaguered, we stomp alone to music without roots.


Inundated by refined sugars, we find nature's sweet cherries and grapes sour. Pleasure is found in extravagance, pain and distance. Yet, we dare not vomit or complain.



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