Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Solitude within the Multitude
What do you see when you look at this painting? Most would say they see a man and a woman sitting together in a room- but if you take a closer look, you will see what Edward Hopper was conveying in this scene. Hopper is one of my new favorite American Artists. I am haunted by the message he is conveying here in this piece- along with many of his other works. Here Hopper is conveying the concept of which I think we all can connect to “the Solitude within the multitude.” In this scene there is a disconnect between the man and the woman. The man is reading his paper and the woman is keying piano chords. They are in the same room, yet turned away from one another, absorbed in their own thoughts and their own worlds. This is a great example of how we all have massively valuable people around us, we are never truly alone, yet we all often feel alone- the solitude within the multitude. We often feel a disconnection toward other people and isolate ourselves from a potentially great life. This is often a silent, unconscious choice that we have a habit of making- at least that is the way it seems to go for me.
For me this painting is a great reminder that we do not have to be a solitude within the multitude (although some alone time can be the most fabulous thing on the planet, but that is not what I am talking about here), there are a lot of great people and wonderful things around us if we just allow ourselves to open our eyes to it. When I see Hoppers work, it makes me want to connect to people again. There is a massive disconnection in the world, and I think it’s time we all make an attempt to reconnect once again- to family, friends, and strangers on the street. Just a simple smile can make a huge difference in someone’s day. Any act of kindness is never wasted.
On this subject, the following quote comes to mind:
“For every man is a golden link in the chain of my good.” -Scovell Schinn
It conveys that we are all connected, no matter who we are or how removed we are from each other. We are all living breathing creatures who all deserve loving kindness- the neighbor across the street, the jack wagon that cut you off in traffic, even the bully who made your life a living hell in high school.
I suggest you give it a whirl. Connect with humanity once again and be present in the moment where ever you are- and smile. We all have a lot to be thankful for.