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Sunday, May 26, 2013

A trip to inner space by John von Daler

    Whenever I am in Berlin, I like to walk from
Potsdamer Platz past the Berlin Philharmonie
down to the Gemäldegalerie to see #Vermeer's portrait
of a girl with a pearl necklace.
    It is a tiny picture, placed over in a corner, an
unpretentious masterpiece. Often I can stand there
alone and just look.
    Why make a fuss about one picture? I am slightly
in love with this girl lost in thought, in her own reflection
in the window or in something she's watching outside.
But actually I always end up looking at the wall between
her and the window. It fills about one third of the painting.
If you stand directly in front of the canvas, that wall is
what you see first.
     Why look at something blank? Remember John
Cage's "4 minutes and 33 seconds" with its silent
piano player? Nothing is blank: nuances from the light
outside the window, reflections from the abundant cloth
in the room, and finally the musings of the girl herself fill
that space if you allow them to.
    You might even drift into introspection and find
yourself in the kind of reverie that occurs, say, when you
wake up behind closed eyelids in strong sunlight,
your head full of the residue from your subconscious,
your thoughts unleashed, unbridled and tinted with
white, light yellow, light amber, light green, light brown
plus whatever colors and sprinkling of stars your
own Vermeer has sneaked from his palette into your mind.

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