On the appreciation of art

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Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.

~Moby Dick

It’s been one of those days where nothing feels right and you can’t sit still long enough to finish a cup of tea, never mind actually get anything done. A relentless restlessness pervades your soul and it seems the only solution is to take to the sea. Metaphorically. One must completely remove themselves from the environment they’re in and completely give yourself over to the freshness of the experience.

Living in Preston and being in the middle of revision doesn’t give me the freedom to be like Ishmael and take to the sea literally – I mean I could hop on the train to Blackpool but then it can just get awkward with train timings and the dark etc – so I did the next best thing. There’s a park in the center of the city (technically) with a river running through it and sometimes, you just can’t beat the peacefulness of a walk with nothing but your music and your thoughts for company.

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Now I’ve never been massively interested in art – I appreciate it and love going to museums but I never got it. And then today it clicked. It was while I was sat next to the water, mindlessly watching the play of the waning light play on the water and the different directions that the water was flowing and the way the water moved and I realised there are some things that simply cannot be captured in words. Words are beautiful – they can do a million and one things but even if I’d sat there for 5 more hours with a dictionary and thesaurus, I couldn’t have captured that river in words. It’s times like this that art is so completely essential to humanity – it gives us the ability to capture the beauty of a sunset and a river flowing through the city, completely unaware and uncaring of the petty problems that exist less than a mile away.

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