The Art of Enjoyment

There is nothing more efficient than an airport. The currency is seconds saved. Order food. You will get a “customer #” and you will get your food quickly. You will shuffle to your next highly efficient set of processes. It is a wonder of modern nature.

It heightens the reality that our global language is pragmatism. We don’t have time for things that clink up the system. We become perfect consumers, shuffled about from one unappreciated preference to the next as quickly as possible.

It’s no wonder our ability to receive art has been compromised.

We have become mere users of art, and only as far as it accelerates the system. We turn it into another form of aggressive consumption. An alcoholic may love wine, but he loves it only in as much as it gives him what he needs. He correctly “uses” it.

But a true lover of wine drinks to taste, to explore the flavors, to experience the sensual results. He does not reduce wine to its pornographic gratifications: “get me drunk.” We have lost the ability to enjoy. We have lost the art of enjoyment.

So how do we get it back? How do re-introduce wonder into a landscape of mass “make it easy for you?” How do we clog the system? How do we disrupt our compulsion to reduce things to their bare consumables?

Perhaps we fight fire with fire. As ironic as it is to be part of the system in order to clog it (think an app on “slowing down”), perhaps hovering there is our only option. Like the magnificent architectural beauty in most airports, it will be lost on most.

But there will always be those for whom the system is not enough. They will see the fractured ends, the utter meaninglessness. They will take the time to look up, to look out, not to use but to be used. They will not be reduced to their outputs.

This is nothing new. Beauty has always hovered quietly in the background. She has always kept her distance from the crowds. She has always been pretty quiet. But give her the chance to do her thing and she will completely blow you away.

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