Three times in my life, art and the artist left me speechless:
Rome's Cornaro Chapel by Bernini; a painting-filled hallway at Myrtice West's home in Centre, Alabama; and Howard Finster's Paradise Garden in the mid-1980s. Two of those wondrous sites live now only in books, photographs, and memory. Finster's Paradise Garden wound beyond his Folk Art Church along twisting paths of concrete and broken dishes, mirrors, tools, broken bits of trash, into heaps of rusted bicycle parts, over a measly stream, under shades of twisted vines and kudzu. In the middle of glade-like spot sat a small mirrored chapel like a fairy story's enchantment. At times, unexpectedly, like this afternoon, I catch a glint of sun in mirror, even in my car's side mirror, and remember that tiny hall of wonder, shimmering with vision no less inspired than Myrtice's paintings of Revelations and Bernini's sculpture. Oh, the drama of their art, the pleasure of creative inspiration.