Heaven and Earth

In a museum, everyone loves the white, spareness and purity. Perfect angles, controlled temperatures. A frame is like a small travelling museum – a tiny, somewhat controlled environment for the preservation and display of a work of art. The idea of something ‘lasting forever’ or accruing value is all quite silly when you consider the decay happening in and on every surface on the planet – the constant swappage of molecules.

I do however, appreciate the great preoccupation with perfection, presentation and essentially control.

Many years ago, I saw how art does this for us. I went to see a Ballanchine Ballet called Jewels, during a painful and disorienting break up of a relationship and a home.

Every act of the ballet was in reverance to the emerald, the ruby, the sapphire and the diamond. Every high pointed toe, kick and arc of a hand was absolute precision. The backdrop was a solid, shimmering, gorgeous color, reflected in the costumes, the sparkle, and the choreography, one gem/color for each act.

There we were within a dissolving partnership, looking up at the stage. I was sitting next to my roommate, love and friend, and the sad, tired mess of our valiant attempts to do better, talk it through, and make it work. Crying silently, mucus running out of my nose and a hand damp from wiping away this issuance. Up on stage was an impossible perfection, a million miles from where I sat, incomprehensible, orchestrated, perfect. It was heaven. I was earth. A primoridal ooze.

Sometimes, this is what art is for.

7 months ago


  1. Well said Hannah, I felt the same way recently. I hope that soon I can get one of your books and seeing into your mind. You write wonderfully and I enjoyed this post immensely. I recently went through a bad breakup as well with someone I’ve been with for years. I am finally moving past it and I never though to go see a stage play to help me get over it. Thank you for the inspiration.

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