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WHEN YOU LOSE SOMEONE YOU LOVE ...
Life means movement
Art often symbolically portrays profound aspects of the human condition. An important symbol in 19th-century European art has been "the wanderer," lone human figures symbolizing life as movement—as a journey, constant change, and transformation. Nineteenth-century German artist Caspar David Friedrich's painting "The Wanderer" epitomizes the spirit within humanity that encourages growth, that pushes us to move, change, adapt, be flexible, be transformed.
But the idea that life means movement is much older, reaching back to Biblical times, and from there back into the realm of timeless prehistory. Bible stories tell of people moving from one place to another, from low to high places within society (think about Joseph going from favored son to slave—then to overseer in the house of a top Egyptian officer); or from high to low status (King Nebuchadnezzar going literally to his knees before acknowledging God's supremacy). People change from ignorant to wise, from unbelieving to pious, from selfish to loving and strong.
About the author
Annette Kreutziger-Herr is a professor of musicology and cultural studies. She and her family live in Berlin.
with contributions from MARALEE LUPIEN KNOWLEN, CHAR WACHTEL, GORDON IMRIE, AMY RICHMOND, ALMA CHICO GREEN
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