Define It, Or Lose It!   4 comments

Ken & Mary's Blues Project-8579-2 blog

George Bearishill — Image by kenne

“I Know It When I hear It!”

In trying to explain what is obscene, Supreme Court Justice, Potter Stewart uttered the now famous phrase, “I know it when I see it.”  Each one of us may have used similar phrases when shopping during this holiday season.  “I’m not sure what I want to buy her, but I will know it when I see it.”

But, what exactly is “it”?  Defining what we mean can be an abstract exercise.  “It” is often use as a generic expression of “worth”, but can take on a different meaning for different people.  Why is this?

How we define “it” is a reflection of context, values, experiences and expectations.   “It” can be referring to quality of service, art, craftsmanship, functionality, all of which are intended to identify, codify and communicate our expectations. So, is “it” really an abstraction?

The test for “knowing it when you see it” is expressed in behavior.  As a young man, I loved going to the Chicago Art Institute.  I could spend hours staring at masterpieces, surrounded, in the silence of others, sharing art that has endured the test of time. Such silence, in the face of beauty, speaks volumes.

I may not be an art expert, but I know art when I see it, or hear it.

Last Saturday we were at Ken & Mary’s Blues Project in Porter, Texas. Setting in on the set was saxophonist, George Bearishill from Georgia (the country). This musician was something to hear — yes, I know it when I hear it!

Another case for intuitive thought. Define it, lose it!

Seek not to define
You know it when you hear it
I know you hear it

— kenne

 

4 responses to “Define It, Or Lose It!

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Months before my father died he asked me to handletter a poster for him with only two words. He framed the poster and hung it in his studio where he continued to paint and make music. ” It is”, the sign read. Whatever It is, he believed in It and It kept him living until his body died. From this experience I imagine a person will know what It is when they feel It have are filled with strong belief that It truly is, whether something to be lost or to be found. Other than that, It is difficult to define.

    Like

  2. I too am not an art critic but I can tell it’s there when I experience it.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: