Art is working within a frame. Knowing and exploring that frame, using contrast, drawing attention across the field.
It’s an extension of language. Which is metaphor. The default art of language is the frame we operate from within. The words we collect along the way, to place along the veritable canvas of open air.
You need the frame to create context, but it’s also limiting. And it’s only when we understand where our context collides with other broader or more pervasive contexts that we can reconstruct our frame. Transcend it, and paint a newer, more comprehensive picture within a newer, more robust, frame.
So how big should your canvas be. Smaller frames require concision. Bigger frames allow more expansive exploration.
One would think, by those descriptions alone that a larger canvas is better, but it also requires more discipline. We can easily lose ourselves in the expanse and be left with nothing but irreducible chaos. Jungle. Space. Ocean. Not because these expanses are truly irreducible, but because we haven’t developed enough to place any kind of conceptual frame around them. We can’t place them into a useful metaphorical context, besides pointing into the void and reveling in its mystery. Dreaming up monsters or messiahs that only reflect our fears and ignorance.
But this isn’t a canvas it’s a concept and it’s hopefully a clear description of why overconfidence in our understanding can lead us to creating a frame larger than we can effectively navigate. Painting ourselves into the void, swallowed by reflections of our own shortcomings.
It’s not pessimism.
Each person is a natural artist gifted with the capacity for communication and supreme adaptation. Very fortuitous developments compared to say; ******* ants out of a tunnel with an incredibly well adapted snout, or establishing mate worthy dominance by bludgeoning a competing male with large outcroppings of bone. Music, written word, spoken language these are the result of our creativity. Our propensity to shift the scope of our picture. Capture understanding from depth by reducing it.
Language only has the frames we construct within it. We must place the borders around our picture somewhere, and playing within each arbitrary space is what creativity is. The self limited but transcendental use of ones space or time.
While this isn’t what I consider “poetry” working through it helped me get some peace from my pessimism, which I thought was poetic.
Digging through this tangent really has stumped me in a way that makes it difficult to reduce into some coherent poem with any kind of resolution, but in this case I’m not as frustrated as I normally would by that.
Spinning these particular wheels has been a fruitful experience in its self.