Sunday, June 06, 2010

Choose Your News

   It’s very difficult to be an aware person in this current environment (double entendre intended) and not spiral, slowly or quickly, into a deep funk. So many things are wrong, sad, horrible, insufferable and worsening at every level of community. You know what I am talking about. Every time you turn on your radio, pick up a newspaper, or watch TV, the bad news drowns out all the other messages.

    Yesterday I heard a program on NPR in which the speaker was recommending, for people who are feeling burdened by the negativity going on, to just turn off the radio, take a break from reading the papers, eschew TV. He’s absolutely right. It’s a good start. But if you are still hungering to stay in contact with our culture and community, there’s more you can do and a clear way to accentuate the positive.

    You can choose Art for your connection. Art has the capacity to uplift and inspire no matter what or how it is communicating. And it doesn’t have to be old news – in fact, the conclusion of Dr. Leonard Shlain’s study culminating in his book Art & Physics (subtitled Parallel Visions In Space, Time & Light), is that artists through the ages have actually expressed new scientific theories before the scientists articulated them. The concept that there is a global consciousness is surely borne out by Art, which many of us understand as a behavior process of expression, not just a product or discipline.

    But there are even more important reasons to make Art an intrinsic part of your life, whether by creating it or observing it, or both. Three compelling reasons are:
      1. Art uplifts the spirit and inspires us.

2. Art informs our thought processes and gives us access to our own creative inventiveness.
      ...and last but not least...
3. It’s fun
    What’s not to like about that list?

Note to image: These adorable little guys are hand carved chess pieces I brought back from my stay in India as a “foreign exchange student” in 1968 as a gift to my dad and as a thank you for opening my eyes up to the world. The chess pieces are ivory, which in those days we were woefully unaware as to the context of its existence and harvesting. That is another story. Having these players traveling from right to left and the happy atmosphere of the flowers makes me see them as going back in time to an earlier, more innocent time.

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At 10:16 PM , Blogger Megan said...

I remember that you were trying to think of a title for this piece, and on a solo hike the other day I came up with one: "In the Key of India." The piece is like a joyful song, and the word "key" could also refer to the ivory. The figurines are like piano keys, only to a whole new instrument-- the instrument of spirit, or of memory.


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