Good questions don’t close the door. They open it.
To look at a thing – a scene – an event, and to ask questions. To wonder what is really going on, and when it began. What an entry into mystery.
This evening I was reading the poem “December Moon” by Mary Sarton. She looks out her window at snow on the ground, pristine and untouched, and then again in the morning, when the surface is criss-crossed with the tracks of animals. She allows the observation of change to conjure questions and images. “How much can come, how much can go when the December moon is bright, what worlds of play we’ll never know.”
And, reading, I became caught up in the wonder too. I could imagine foxes dancing. Cats tiptoeing. Small birds almost skating on the surface, leaving just whispers of markings. Who knows what went on by moonlight?
I love this quality of poetry. I love the way a poet can begin with a simple observable object or scene and open it up for examination, turn it over to reveal possibilities, then look beyond the thing itself to suggest other deeper meaning. I try to bring this process into my own artmaking. Not living in a snowy place, I am drawn to water, shadows, looking underground, under rocks.
I think I’m closest to getting it right when I can create an image leading a viewer to the door of questions. Then living with the work becomes a process of considering possible answers.