They say if you can keep looking at a picture for more than three seconds, you like it.  What if you find a picture you would like to look at for the rest of your life?  Then I guess you should own it…

I remember vividly the first time I saw The Boy on Mount Fuji by Katsushika Hokusai; it still makes me shiver in my bones today and I thought it was the reflection of pure beauty on a frame.  I was hypnotized; the color scheme was so harmonious.  The use of blue, purple, pink and white was all subtle yet powerful.  The composition was so spacious and continuous, reminding me of the expansive desert scenes from “Lawrence of Arabia.”  It was natural, serene, peaceful, divine yet simple.  And there was a body of water and a mountain in it, symbolizing life, good fortune and hope.

I knew I had to have it.  I was so happy when I brought it home, in my mind, my house became more worthy.  After working long hours at my ballet studio, I could not wait to sit back in front of the print, contemplate, dream, imagine, ultimately feel good.  It was my virtual reality, my escape pod, my temple.  It represented the opposite side of me that completed me.  With time I learned to appreciate many more of the details that eluded my vision at first sight:

The sack that was hanging down next to him; perhaps he had to carry water to his family?  The scarf he was wearing; a gift from a loved one to protect him from cold weather?  He was playing a flute; what could be a better accompaniment to all of that sweet rhythm around him?  There was a breeze soft enough to make the tree branch sway and lift up the foam from the little creek, yet not strong enough to disturb a single hair on his head.  He seemed lonely, weak and pensive.  I noticed how grand, majestic and timeless Mount Fuji was.

And then I saw the heavy weight that the fragile tree had to carry and the risk the boy took without thinking by sitting on it.  He was poor, because he was not wearing shoes.  The snow was melting, giving birth to the lively stream.  Finally I noticed the dark clouds moving in, suggesting the calm before the storm?

Some people create their own selfish world around themselves; no matter what you do, it will not involve what is outside of the frame.  And some are about the greater good; they become selfless and dedicate their lives completely to what is outside of that frame.  Very few find out the balance, just to realize:

See them both; the true happiness is what you make out of it.

 

Mad World.

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