And Gutenberg Lived Here: Sunday In The Park With George

“White. A blank page or canvas. The challenge: bring order to the whole,

through design,  composition, tension, balance, light, and harmony.”

Sunday in the Park With George.

The musical.

by Stephen Sondheim.

Based on the George Seurat painting “Afternoon on the Island of Grande Jatte.”

Both have always fascinated me.


But what fascinates me even more is:

what is in the two,

or their creators,

that brings them together like this?

What do they have in common with each other?

and with us?

And, most importantly,

what does pointilism have to do with it?

Or, to put it in a nutshell:

The point is: what is the point?

Is it to compose?

(Assuming you can do it as Sondheim does.)

To create the painting?

Or sing,

or paint the backdrops for the musical, for that matter?

Or to listen?

Or watch something being created?

On all different levels.

Or is the fun simply being in the experience?

Going to the theater?

Suddenly finding yourself in the world of someone writing a musical

about creating a painting

about this time in time and space?

Or should that be these times and spaces-

Sondheim’s, Seurat’s, yours, mine?

Or is it just the experience of having on formal clothes

and promenading in an area on a day

set aside to just be different from the other six.

And seeing the others in their fancy clothes,

and formal lifestyles?

Or is it playing hefty rugby in St. James park in London,

a walk in the downtown of Gutenberg Land,

eating fancy cream coffees,

and looking in all the show windows

without anyone asking if you really wouldn’t like to buy something?

And, of course,

not having to worry about setting out anything but a leftovers supper,

and not having to get everything ready for the week until much later.

Several blessed hours of peace.

And time to talk.

Civil talk.

About where your lives have been the last few days.

And are going now.

Time to think about what is important.

And enjoy beauty.

With George.

Or whichever person has your heart.

And your soul.

Or even just your mind.

A husband,


Dog perhaps.

Or a colleague.

Or a group thereof.

Someone who wanders through your life.

And speaks your dialect.

Or language.

Or technical talk.

Or even sings it.

Like Sondheim.

Unless, of course,

instead of a park,

you prefer to go

“Into The Woods.”

copyright 2016 All rights reserved.

3 thoughts on “And Gutenberg Lived Here: Sunday In The Park With George

  1. I enjoyed the piece a lot, although I must admit I’ve never seen the musical. I do know and like the painting, though. I’m always particularly amused by the idea that although the people in it are supposed to be relaxing by the waterside, they are tightly packed into restrictive Victorian outfits that look in danger of exploding at any moment. Perhaps that’s what gives the picture its dramatic tension.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am also blessed that better half is a very theoretical, and thus creative scientist, who also is very creative in the music that he, and often I with him, perform. Perhaps that’s why he is tolerant of what I do.


Leave a Reply to Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s