1.26.2012

In Praise of (a little) Mystery

Cy Twombly, Untitled (Say Goodbye Catullus, to the Shores of Asia Minor), 1994. The Menil Collection.

Cy Twombly’s desk by David Seidner from Artists at Work (via Rue tumblr)

I've been thinking about the allure of mystery a lot lately. Ironic, I realize, given the fact that I pin and blog (and blog and blog) and tweet (although not my strong suit)... Let's just say I'm "out there". I share stuff. A lot.

And while I've certainly benefited from being a part of this ubiquitous online conversation (in cherished friendships and opportunities and even dream jobs), there's something to be said for cultivating a bit of mystery...

Case in point, Adam Robert's article in the January Food and Wine entitled "Real Heroes Don't Tweet". Robert's dismay at the embrace of social media by his culinary icons had me nodding in violent agreement. And then I immediately wanted to tweet about it. Sad. (As a side note, Food and Wine and Bon Appétit are really bringing it of late... The food mags are kinda kicking the shelter mag's butts, yes?)

I was also struck by this article in the Times about the late Cy Twombly, specifically the idea that Twombly's embrace of privacy and even (gasp) unpopularity afforded him an invaluable creative freedom.

"But Mr. Twombly, a tall, rangy Virginian who once practiced drawing in the dark to make his lines less purposeful, steadfastly followed his own program and looked to his own muses — often literary ones, like Catullus, Rumi, Pound and Rilke. He seemed to welcome the privacy that came with unpopularity.

“I had my freedom and that was nice,” he said in a rare interview..."

So the trick I suppose is being sufficiently "out there" while simultaneously guarding your privacy and cultivating just the right amount of mystery. No sweat.


I'll get right on that...

9 comments:

KatieMaye said...

I totally understand where you are coming from. mystery is being something of a delicacy i think

michele said...

i get it. this has relevance for me at this very moment. i honestly think cy was on to something, and i hope i'll get there too.

smiles.

michele

Stephanie said...

Great points...lots of wisdom in that post!

Love the Menil Collection too :) Have you popped down to visit yet?

jeni said...

Haha, I'm definitely one of those open, "pour my heart and soul out" kind of people - but I'm learning the value of a little mystery. Lately, I've just wanted to have some private time to myself and refocus on me, so that I can better express myself to the world.

hoping that you find some privacy and mystery too.

Jen C said...

I struggle with this myself. I think part of it for me is that it's a boundary issue. But the larger bit is that when you do form boundaries, you're more likely to reserve parts of yourself for those closest to you.

I think the truth of it is this (and I acknowledge it may be a short coming on my part but...), I can't invest that level of intimacy with everyone because then I'd have no one I could have true intimacy with. Does that make any sense?

Elsa May said...

Privacy is SO underrated today. I'm a great believer in holding something back, it's kind of like you don't want to put all your cards on the table, keep something for yourself, just for you. I also loved the Cy Twombly NYTimes article - he is such a gentle, gracious man. Annie x ps: congratulations on your new job - exciting!

Apt. #34 said...

I agree with a) that food mags are totally killing it right now b) that there is a fine line between openness and over sharing!

Danny said...

Mr. Twombly is by far one of my most favorite painters....along with Helen Frankenthaler. Thanks for reminding me......

PS Don't go all mysterious on us, I love visiting your blog and will now follow your tweets!!

xoxo

Brandi {not your average ordinary} said...

It certainly is a tricky balance. I struggle with it all the time. There are days I want to walk away from the online world, but I do love it in many ways. I definitely think some people overdo social media -- you know where they are, what they're thinking, what they're eating. It's a little much. But Victoria was right when she said that we're hardwired to share. It's a personal decision how much we do.