The other day I happened to look out my bedroom window as a small bird sat perched on the ledge.
The bird was brightly colored, and appeared to be an important bird which had perhaps attended Vassar.
The bird looked at me for a minute then began to flutter its wings. It then started to fly into the open window.
Fearing for the bird’s safety I immediately waved my arms, which frightened the bird away. I then resumed what I was doing (worrying).
Later in the day I heard my daughter yelling loudly in the living room, which is usually a signal for me to go the other way.
I did respond, however, and there in the living room was a bird, fluttering about.
I assumed it was the same bird from Vassar who wanted in the house earlier.
Why is it that one never has a stun gun or a net on a long pole when it is needed?
Then out of the corner of my eye I saw Charlie, our cat, (who attended Junior College for one semester) He was leaping around the living room. Before I had time to properly respond to the situation, it was over. Charlie jumped onto the couch/spring board, did a one and a half gainer and caught the bird in his mouth.
My last glimpse was of the bird’s beautiful, highly educated head sticking out of the low class cat’s mouth.
Charlie was ushered outside.
“ Wow, this is a wonderful allegory!” I said to Murt as we discussed the event that evening on the phone.
Its not an allegory unless it’s about something” Murt said.
“The bird and the cat seem like really good symbols.”
“But symbols of what?” Murt went on.
“Is the cat the bourgeoisie and the bird the proletariat?
Or is this Rome and Pope Agapetus II?”
Murt was beginning to get wound up.
“It could even be the coming of fall and the end of summer….but, if you really want it to be an allegory it has to mean SOMETHING…..preferably something deep.
The nice thing about art is that everything is a little fuzzy. I usually know there is some meaning in there somewhere (or I assume it) but that meaning stays comfortably vague.
“I’ve been an artist too long,” I thought.
“Well, I could say it’s an allegory of polka dots and dancing porcupines,” I said finally, “but no one really gives a damn”
“With the passage of time everything is forgotten anyway”
A long pause ensued.
“Some artists are very capricious,” Murt said authoritatively.
“ I value clarity.”
After the phone call I went outside and walked around the studio looking at some of my recent sculptures. One of them had a heavy chunk of steel dangling haphazardly about 4 feet off the ground. All the pieces of the sculpture were only tacked lightly in place while I decided whether or not I liked them.
Thinking of Murt and our allegory conversation, I suddenly gave the sculpture a swift hard kick.
The heavy piece of steel came crashing down narrowly missing my leg and both feet.
Startled, I jumped back.
” That would make a really good allegory,” I thought to myself…….but of what? ”
“I’ve been an artist much too long,” I said and went in and turned on the TV.