Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Art and Science

Art was a girl. She lived in an old town house with crumbling plaster walls, vines creeping up their sides, along the balcony and crystal chandelier that hadn’t worked for years. She work silk scarves, long skirts and flowing dresses, or black skinnys and combat boots, depending on what mood she was in. She never tied her hair up; it was always different shades of red. She kept jars of hallucinogenic herbs in her kitchen, but she only ate vegetarian organic food and refused to smoke cigarettes. She wrote poems on her white plaster walls, painted murals on her ceilings and played music all the time. She played electric base guitar, drums, violin and piano, and even when she talked her voice was melodious. She danced everywhere. In the summer she slept outside on her balcony, and in the winter she slept by the fireplace. Her garden was luscious and green and so heavy with perfume it would put you in a trance. She believed in past lives; she believed that she used to be a bird. She talked to them, and it make her feel less lonely.

Science was a boy. He lived in a cold clean stainless steel minimalist apartment in the inner city; all his furniture was white. He wore wool pants, even in summer, a clean white shirt, a vest and a smoking jacket. His hair was black and always combed and set so perfectly that it wouldn’t move on a windy day. He never took drugs, but he smoked cigarettes and ate red meat often. He was an entomologist; he studied insects for a living. He kept terrariums full of stick insects, beetles and spiders all over his house, but he never caught the butterflies and pinned them down to mount them on his wall because he had dreams about them screaming and it made him feel guilty. He didn’t listen to music and he never danced. He always slept inside in his clean cold room in his clean white bed, no matter the weather, and he never slept late. He didn’t believe in past lives, but he secretly believed that his insect friends could hear him when he talked to them He talked to them, and it made him feel less lonely

One day, Art was painting in the park one day, when she spied Science, collecting ladybirds. She thought he was the most curious thing she had ever seen; the collar of his coat was covered in ladybirds, huddling closer to his body for warmth in the cold winter afternoon. She didn’t know what an entomologist was, so she thought he must have been a magician, the way he controlled the little beetles and the butterflies that you would never seen this deep into the season. Science looked up and saw her, staring at him across the park, looking like a Monarch butterfly and painting him. The ladybirds flew from his coat and swarmed around her, blending with her red hair. She giggled, and he rushed over to try and reclaim his mischievous friends; they had felt his heart beating like insect wings when he saw her, and so they thought they should take advantage of the opportunity. She smiled. He blushed and tripped over his words. But from then on they became inseparable.

Art took Science back to her town house with the crumbling walls and the murals and the poetry. She cooked him vegetarian lasagne and made him mushroom tea. Science filled her broken chandelier with fireflies so that they could see. He tripped out on the tea and they made love all night on the balcony.
Science took Art to his clean cold apartment in the inner city, and showed her all his terrariums. He performed tricks for her with butterflies, and taught her all their different names. Art taught him how to dance, and lit a fire in his empty fireplace so that they were warm, and filled his rooms with flowers from her garden. They made love all night in his clean white bed and slept all day.

They wondered how they had ever lived without each other.

Science and art had a baby. They named her Peace.
She’s the kind of girl who slips artful sentences and complicated words into her science reports to amuse herself at school; she writes them like essays. She takes dances classes, but her best subject is biology. Some say she was meant to be an artist, a beautiful actress, not a squint, but she wants to become a doctor. She knows that science can be creative; nothing can innovate like science can, and really, if you strip it back, art is fundamentally science. She knows paint is just chemicals, photos are digital pixels, beats are made of electronic sound waves, melodies come from a voice box. She knows it’s not until you ad the human element, the spiritual element, that these things become art. She knows this because that is what her parents taught her.
That you can’t have one without the other.
And you can’t have Peace without Science and Art.

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