proust

Monochromatic Triptych

A triptych inspired by the words of Proust:

"Beneath every day incidents, the every day ordinary objects in common words, I sensed a strange and individual tone of voice. Beyond the reach of intellect, in some material object (in the sensation it will give us) of which we have no inkling – the past is hidden."

"A real person, profoundly as we may sympathize with her, is in a great measure perceptible only through our senses, that is to say, remains opaque, presents a dead weight which are sensibilities have not the strength to lift."

"For even if we have the sensation of being always enveloped in, surrounded by our own soul, still it does not seem a fixed and immovable prison; rather do we seem to be born away with it, and perpetually struggling to transcend it, to break out into the world..."

Suffering & Wisdom: Finding Inspiration in Proust

"Griefs, at the moment when they change into ideas, lose some of their power to injure our heart." - M. Proust

While we are more than able to use our minds without being in pain, it is my experience that we become most inquisitive when distressed. We suffer,  and we consider this pain carefully, so as to place the it in context. It helps to understand its origins, plot its dimensions, and reconcile ourselves to its presence. 

One might argue, and some have, that reading Proust's opus "In Search of Lost Time" is itself painfully difficult. Hence it would stand to reason that the story has a lot to teach us. 

One of these lessons is how to suffer successfully and to learn from our pain - something I have found quite inspirational of late. Ignorance may be blissful, but it is when we engage with our grief,  we have the incentive to confront difficult truths. 

Suffering it seems opens up the possibilities for intelligent, imaginative inquiry...and Proust might make the point that reoccurring misery develops a heartier more workable approach for life. Something more attainable than a utopian quest for the perfect and happy life.