Duende

There is a muse, a spirit, that can be called on and entertained in the "artist". Often when I am in a creative state, be it at an easel or in an office, I feel this spirit move me. On the flip side, there have been moments in my life when I feel entirely taken up and transformed by a picture or a poem. When my dad passed away, my friend Rose sent me a card featuring a painting by Georia O'Keefe. Something about the image totally struck me and just seeing it opened up some new window in my grief.

  Chama River, Ghost Ranch, New Mexico (Blue River)  , 1935   Georgia O'Keeffe

Chama River, Ghost Ranch, New Mexico (Blue River), 1935
Georgia O'Keeffe

The power of art is a great mystery. Why did Ms. O'keefe feel compelled to paint, why does the painting have that effect? There is no logic, no science, that can currently explain how something created by one person can evoke emotion in another person many years later. Great art can hold us, move us, make us rethink something. It is hard to articulate just how much truth the artist can convey to the right observer. 

I recently (because of Pinterest) came across a word entirely new to me but very familiar. It is a word coined by Lorca in the 1930s that tries to capture the power of art to evoke the human condition. I can't do it justice in my description and so I recommend you read the wikipeda article dedicated to this word. 

I imagine that at some point we have all felt El Duende. Wheither you consider yourself an artist or you are one of those "I'm not creative" types, you must at some point have met this spirit. Perhaps El Duende found you in a tavern enjoying food crafted by a master in which you could taste the love of the chef. Or maybe you met El Duende at an art museum or a book store. I imagine the spirit could find you anywhere and anytime, but each of us has inevitably been touched by it. 

Imagine that. Imagine a power so pervasive that every human soul has felt it. That sounds like something we should be more aware of. I invite you to bring your attention to El Duende. Invoke the spirit of beauty, see what gifts of insight it lays at your feet.