I love my Campbell’s mug. Half of it is red, half of it is white. There are gold accents on it; a gold seal in the middle and gold flower like dots at the bottom. Huge bold scripts on opposite sides of the handle reads, from top to bottom, “Campbell’s Condensed Tomato Soup.” I use it everyday for coffee.
There’s also an inscription written on the inner rim of the mug. I see it every time I drink from it. It reads, “Art is what you can get away with.” It’s a tiny potent idea I’m reminded of daily. Its power rests on the word art. It could mean almost anything as anything these days can be considered art, truly a dangerous proposition.
For me, Renaissance Art is art. Hellenistic Art is art. Haiku is art. Aikido is art. Climbing is art. They all burst with details without suffering obscurity. You get what you see. Human form is celebrated in strokes, hues, verses, and movement; no need for strenuous interpretation. You see them, you understand. You read them, you understand. You do them, you understand.
The “doing art” is my favorite kind. Motion and expression of the human body is living art. Climbing is like this. It is motion expressed on a wide natural canvas. It takes hard work and dedication but it’s easy to grasp as long as you pay earnest attention to details. Understand the canvas and have the tools needed. There are different tools for each kind of canvas. You might need to enhance your tools from time to time. Chiseling yourself through training sharpens you up for different kinds of climbing, mummifying your hands with “climbing tape” readies you for cracks, and racking up with hooks, cams, and biners allows for blissful aiding experiences.
Sharing living art with others is a wonderful way to spend time. Often, climbing is done in the company of others. I’m happy to know a few artists who like being on the other end of my rope or spotting me from the ground. We help each other out to perfect our expressions. Thank you for helping me; it’ll be my pleasure to help you too.
I love my Campbell’s mug. It’s not all red and surely not all white. The gold accents on it distract from its simplicity. The four words “Campbell’s Condensed Tomato Soup” are written in four different fonts and sizes. Is it a work of art? It is not Renaissance Art nor Hellenistic. The words written in its inner rim isn’t surely a Haiku either. But if you would share my coffee, it would take part in living art.