Endurance, how many ways can we celebrate thee?
I’ll lead off with a saying (in Latin, for added authority):
ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS
Which can be translated as Life is Fleeting (Brief), but Art Endures (is Long). And nowhere is this more easily illustrated than in any museum. Here we are in the newly renovated and refurbished Yale University Art Gallery, a magnificent repository of enduring splendors. Here are four very modern ladies admiring a battered, but still enduringly beautiful, woman of ancient Greece:
Here’s another very modern (catch the informal attire) visitor who is in turn being scrutinized by an ancient Assyrian king. He offers her whatever is in the bag he carries, but she doesn’t even notice:
In another room of the gallery, a Buddha from China holds his lotus pose as he has been doing for centuries:
The Buddha’s hands form the samadhi mudra, the gesture of meditation, which is itself an ancient form. Millions of contemporary meditators will perform this same hand gesture in their daily practice this very day or evening or night.
Indeed, Art is long, and much of it endures far beyond the scope of fleeting human life.
(To come, Natural Forces, Architecture, and Artifacts of Endurance — stay tuned.)