A moment of synchronicity came to me in a cab a few days ago. We were parked at a red light outside of a boutique on 5th avenue and I was silently noticing the store’s window display. Just your everyday mannequins hanging out in average preppy clothes but amongst them hung puffy cotton clouds from invisible thread. The clouds were well done, they looked hand made. Looking at it gave me an ethereal sense of floating.
I began to think about how often people can be on the same wavelength without realizing it having just finished a painting full of clouds myself. I was thinking clouds too-just like the window display designer had. I borrowed the idea to paint clouds from Michelangelo’s last judgement. He was thinking clouds years ago.
PIeople are more connected in their thinking then they would probably like to admit. This is a good thing. Coincidence is comforting. Coincidence is everywhere.
Coincidence is comforting. Coincidence is everywhere.
“The perspective in those clouds is way off”, my cab driver says to me out of the blue in that exact moment. Wow, amazing. How did he know I was looking at that? Apparently, the cab driver was on the cloud wavelength too. I looked deeper at the display.
“You think?” I replied. “How so?”
“He should’ve put more detail in the front, and smaller ones in the back— it confuses the eye”, he said. He had an accent that I couldn’t quite place.
“Hmmm,” I studied the cloud window closer. What an unusual conversation to have with this random middle aged cab driver, I thought to myself. I probably didn’t have much in common with him culturally or otherwise. The randomness of the moment delighted me.
“I see what you’re saying,” I said. I did see his point, but I didn’t think it mattered for the effect. “I’m sure it could be better—but that part doesn’t bother me—I think it’s working,” I said. “I like it.”
“Yes, it is good,” he said. “But there will always be criticism,” he replied in a thick middle eastern accent that somehow made him sound like a wise old Sufi I had probably seen in some obscure old movie or documentary once. Who is this guy? Weird. He made an interesting point.
I told him I had just finished a painting—with clouds in it. I told him I was inspired by Michelangelo’s last judgement. He knew the painting. I showed him a snapshot on my phone of it. He looked at it—he absorbed it— he could see how I had been inspired. He didn’t say much else. He was a critic. There will always be one.
I was at my destination and had to get out, and felt deeply saddened that our conversation had to end so abruptly. I knew I could have had a really interesting discussion about art and probably many other things with this person.
That’s the thing about art, literature, music, etc. It’s neutral. We all can absorb it and have opinions and a conversation about it. It’s a bridge that connects us as humans.
On the surface, it wouldn’t look like I’d have much to talk about with this cab driver but we ended up having an insightful connection. When I look beneath face value of a person I usually find an unlikely connection. The common thread is always there.