Tuesday, September 29, 2009
The first and the last time we look at something tend to be similar, particularly when one believes that it could be the last one. When we look at something for the first time the astonishment is probably caused by the singularity of what we face. Of course, first times are unlike anything else. But when we think we are looking at something for the last time, although we can never be sure, we try to recover that intensity. We go away with the head turned back, as if it didn’t want to go. But it doesn’t help. There is only one first time. It happened to me at the Metropolitan museum while looking at a painting by Vermeer. It wasn’t the only time, but it was the most intense one. In fact, now that there is only few days left before I leave, this insight becomes more and more powerful.