Drawn into Orbit

Still Life with a Glass and Oysters by Jan Davidsz de Heem (1640)

Still Life with a Glass and Oysters (1640) by Jan Davidsz de Heem

10 June 2014
12:16 AM


Having gone through my second car accident last Friday, I look at my swollen knee and think about the way we arrive in the world. The way we leave. All the people who have come and gone, all those whom you loved and thought would stay forever.

I often lose those who matter. I suppose life has always been like this.

Have you read this book? I came across an excerpt and I have fallen in love, there’s no other way to say it:

“…I have fallen in love with a painting. Though that phrase doesn’t seem to suffice, not really – rather it’s that I have been drawn into the orbit of a painting, have allowed myself to be pulled into its sphere by casual attraction deepening to something more compelling. I have felt the energy and life of the painting’s will; I have been held there, instructed. And the overall effect, the result of looking and looking into its brimming surface as long as I could look, is love, by which I mean a sense of tenderness toward experience, of being held within an intimacy with the things of the world…”

– from Still Life with Oysters and Lemon: On Objects and Intimacy by Mark Doty

I am thinking of our own orbits, of paths crossing, of every one of us who have meandered into one another’s lives. Isn’t it strange to know each other at all, given where you are, given where I am?



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