Sunday, October 11, 2009

Ownership Is An Illusion

“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.”
Leonard Cohen, from Anthem

I went to a party last night. It was in honor of Zara Kriegstein, a beautiful and very talented artist, originally from Germany, who died from too much drinking of alcohol—and a failed liver. The party was at the home of a wealthy physician and local patron of the arts. As I arrived with a friend and pulled up to the palatial home, I had brief nostalgia for prestige and pleasure that comes with ownership of a home. Inside, a mariachi band played in front of a sweeping view to the west, and a gorgeous sunset. Artists and art lovers mingled, talked, ate delicious food, and admired Zara’s artwork that was displayed prominently for the occasion. A curator, her son, and her sister gave eloquent testimonies to her extraordinary life.

In the end, I think ownership is an illusion. All of life is contingent and we cannot change physical laws. Animals that we think we “own” get sick and die despite our ownership. The land we think is ours existed before us and endures after us. Our cars and bank accounts vanish and so do homes. Even our bodies are given to us, but only for a short time. Moreover, I do not want to get tangled up in forming relationships with physical objects that then make a demand on me. It seems material things need attention, and the more objects, the more demand for attention. I like being connected to the earth and nature, but in a way that I can enjoy it freely, like the wind that roams across the planet. Death teaches us that everything physical comes to dust. My philosophy is that it is better to be alive in Spirit that permeates and animates every atom in the universe and is independent, than be attached to the outward appearances that are doomed by mortality.

1 comment:

Psyberspace-Superstar said...

Thanx for writing about Zara's party.
I think the obit in the SFNM mentioned something about an October memorial . I did a google search looking for it to appear . I left the following comment on the Obit when I expectantly came across it last month:

Zara Kriegstein
let me sit and watch her paint.
Zara explained a lot to me
about what was going on
with her "Painting"
Zara called it painting not, art.

I did a video/tour/interview with her of her murals around Santa Fe for a public access tv show I did called "Take 5"

Zara took a branch of art (several branches)
went back to when it didn't suck
then added to that branch in her own way taking it in a new direction.

I found her obituary by accident.
Zara and I weren't friends
I didn't know she was ill.
I'm surprised to learn she died at what they say 57.

I started a project that was concerning painters
just as she died
and so
I've been recently reminded
about those times
watching Zara create several paintings,