Small stuff, the grit that accumulates under the table, or rose petals shedding from a vase, a collective ring of reds and yellows. Small stuff, leaves cluttering the front lawn, the trees dropping summer into fall, dogs lazying in patches of sunlight, becoming toasty as the ground moves below them placing them back in shadow. Just small stuff, little details, the gooey jelly that holds a day together.
How much life does it cost to make a piece of work? A day, perhaps week maybe, or longer? Is a decade of life poured into a work ever recognized, or is the fragmentation of it into many smaller pieces seen as the culmination of the entire? Who knows, if anyone, except for the artist, or those that can see with receptive eyes. A poet once said it takes several years of life to be lived for a single poem. A single line can consolidate an entire year, clearly distilling it down, elucidating all that occurred. Basho understood this, encircling moments into living entities, small immortal children to scurry about the earth.
toshi kurenu / kasa kite waraji / hakinagara
another year is gone / a traveler’s shade on my head, / straw sandals at my feet
That really does seem like the answer, from a great distance or close up. The work just is, lasting on its own, floating beyond our reach, just beyond our grasp.