Jan 31 Erosion: VI
They walked past the limonaia and on Viale Della Meridiana. Henry asked Robert to sit with him at a trattoria in front of Basilica di Santo Spirito. Robert obliged. They both ordered Campari and tonic.
The conversation at the gardens had affected Henry. It was as though the veil behind which he had been living had been slightly lifted and life around him had been rendered slightly more vivid.
‘Henry,’ began Robert, ‘I trust I haven’t offended you. Everything I said comes wholly from a place of care, and since the subject has been broached, I hope we can speak further on it.’
Henry, stirring his drink, listened intently to Robert, but fixedly gazed on the Basilica. Robert sipped his drink and felt refreshed—they had both always enjoyed Campari and it had become a family tradition to gift the largest bottles they could find to each other which resulted in the both of them having absurdly large stockpiles of the aperitif.
‘Why do you think Brunelleschi and Manetti chose such a simple façade for their church? Do you find it incongruent with the grandeur of the interior?’ asked Henry.
‘Are you asking me seriously, Henry? Or are you deflecting?’
‘Perhaps I am continuing the conversation, Robert.’
‘Humour my query, if you would.’
‘It’s art, Henry. Does art require congruence? If so, what shall it be congruent with? Itself? Its contemporaries?’
‘You are quite eloquent, Robert. You would have made a wonderful poet, or painter, or philosopher.’
‘I’m flattered, Henry, but what are your thoughts?’
‘Art must be congruent.’
They both looked at the Basilica, as though viewing it for the first time with Henry’s notion of congruence in art.
‘Henry, can we please continue our conversation from earlier. I don’t mean to press, but I would like to hear more from you; I feel you have left much unspoken.’
‘The façade, Robert, and the interior, are not always harmonious. For some time now—a long time—I have felt discordant with myself and, consequently, I have been a source of grief for those I care most deeply for. I won’t bore you with reiteration of my earlier sentiments, but rather, I’ll attempt to elaborate. We are promised from our youth, that if we strive to fulfil our potential, we in turn will be fulfilled. That through striving we will find gratitude and humility, that through execution we will find contentment and actualisation. I felt grateful, I still do, for all I have and have achieved. No feat of mine belongs exclusively to me. I am humbled by my experiences and humbled further by the endless aid and encouragement I received and continue to receive in my pursuit of novelty and originality of experience. I have executed repeatedly. I have given myself entirely to my art. Yet, I find myself incongruent; with my work, with those I love, with myself. For all the Dostoyevsky and Proust and Eliot I have read and reread, for all the paintings and sculptures and architecture I have travelled ceaselessly to view, for all the symphonies and operas and concerts I have attended, for all the poems and essays and novels I have written, I am discontent and, if I have grown actualised, it’s a crying shame, for I feel entirely juvenile and unripe. What you said earlier, about my insatiable desire to view the world as I want it rather than as it is confirms my lack of maturity, of erudition, which I have sophomorically fancied myself to have in abundance. But I feel your words have roused me, prompted me to view myself with the same candidness with which you spoke. I feel a change, minuscule, but a change nonetheless, from within, and I am determined to explore it completely.’ With resoluteness Henry spoke, and for the first time in years, Robert saw the zeal that Henry once embodied return to his tone. It did not feel like the sporadic moments when Henry would speak fleetingly of some trivial, albeit exciting subject matter that aroused his passing interest. He felt confident that some small cog had begun to creak in the depths of Henry’s mind, inciting thoughts unvisited.
‘I am proud of you, Henry, incredibly proud,’ Robert responded, ‘Olive must be expecting us soon and we still have to pick up the gelato and vermouth.’
‘Let’s not tarry longer then,’ replied Henry energetically, taking down the last of his aperitif, ‘it’s only a few minutes to the gelataria from here.’
They rose and Henry shook the waiter’s hand, complementing him on the quality of their oranges and tonic, then strode onto Piazza Santo Spirito toward Sbrino. A lively bouquet of citrus seemed to float from the gardens, refreshing the air.
To read more of the writings of this talented young man please follow the link to the site of (Ibrahim Khudeira).
Filippo Brunelleschi (1377–1446) is considered to be a founding father of Renaissance architecture, was an Italian architect and designer, recognized to be the first modern engineer, planner and sole construction supervisor.He is most famous for designing the dome of the Florence Cathedral, a feat of engineering that had not been accomplished since antiquity, as well as the development of the mathematical technique of linear perspective in art which governed pictorial depictions of space until the late 19th century and influenced the rise of modern science. (Wikipedia)
Our theme for a little while will be to consider the issue of congruence and integrity in art. I am slightly changing the format of the blog but more on that tomorrow.