Art mimics life. When we see something, we see the action, the defining moment. The painting is a stop in time, even in abstract, to show the moment. Van Gogh, trying to show the everyday peasant’s life, showed the action of the peasant. The bend of a worker to the field, or the stop of a hand to the plow.
The pictures, the stories, every kind of art is in the moment. The musical note ringing out, the foot stomping in the dance. The movie is a series of moments, but never allowing a pause, never allowing irrelevance. The pause is not entertaining. The pause is real life. Life is the endless actions that mean nothing: the opening of the door, the aftermath to the wedding, the tap of fingers as we wait on meetings at work. We cut the irrelevant out of movies and are disappointed in it being such a staple of real life. Is this why we hurry from one moment to the next? Do you need to get rid of the irrelevance in life? The moments are what we think are important, not the space between.
But in art, as in life, the most important things are in the space between. The notes are lovely, but the space between them is the music, the pause between steps is the dance. There is no relationship without space. The space from the worker to the earth he works, so much closer, so attached. And so different than the space from the Venus to the earth, her feet separated from all things, tucked into a shell, not even touching the water.
And you, and I. The space between us is the defining of who we are. You are in my every irrelevant moment. Every door opening that a movie would cut. Every tedious drive through traffic. It is not exciting. It is dull to watch the girl simply sit and do work. “Let’s skip to the part where she makes love or he fights or they die,” they would say. Because they don’t see what is happening in the space between.
All of the empty space around me, all of the empty in-between is filled with you.