Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Map of Beauty Translates



The Semanticist S.I. Hayakawa believed this about general semantics: “The end product of education, yours and mine and everybody’s, is the total pattern of reactions and possible reactions we have inside ourselves. If you did not have within you at this moment the pattern of reactions that we call “the ability to read” you would see here only meaningless black marks on paper. Because of the trained patterns of response, you are (or are not) stirred to patriotism by martial music, your feelings of reverence are aroused by symbols of your religion, you listen more respectfully to the health advise of someone who has ‘MD’ after his name than to that of someone who hasn’t. What I call here is a ‘pattern of reactions,’ then, is the sum total of the ways we act in response to events, to words, and to symbols, signs and symbol systems. Our reaction patterns or our semantic habits, are the internal and most important residue of whatever years of education or miseducation we may have received.”
As I view the artwork of Ronald Isom, these feeling responses for my deepest archetypal signs and symbols well within me. I am inexplicably moved and left with mystical feelings better left unspoken.
To a person who asked for a definition of jazz, Louis Armstrong is said to have replied, “Man, when you got to ask what it is, you’ll never get to know,” proving to be an intuitive semanticist as well as a great trumpet player.
To give the artwork of Ronald Isom an intuitive semantic response is not to ask for a definition, but to know our own intrinsic value, as we are led right to our core with each view.
PW Bridgman, Nobel Prize winner and physicist, once wrote, “The true meaning of a term is to be found by observing what a man does with it, not by what he says about it.”
Ronald illustrates his intuitive semantic reactions to his symbol systems. His paintings and drawings are kinetic in ways that allow us to FEEL what he feels. Organic in inspiration, his artwork brings us to our own symbolic systems, as they emerge and fly free, allowing us to see and know our own semantic responses.
In this way that the symbols of Ronald’s artwork brings us to ourselves and allows us to feel, I aspire, as a writer, to bring my readers into their intuitive core, and allow them to explore the possibilities of their lives, through the eyes of my characters.
Artwork: Spiritual Growth Form by Ronald Isom

1 comment:

MHartz said...

A potent discussion of semantics. I had never thought beyond the verbal and linguistic sense, but this remarkable article extends my vision of semantics into many areas of life.

I may use a kinesthetic kind of semantics in repatterning movements for Taiji students.

Thumbs up in StumbleUpon.