Art as Witness

On these dark days of late autumn sorrow sometimes finds me.  I tell myself on the lowest of days that my sequestered way of being in this world renders me obsolete and that I am powerless against the surge of injustices that compose the structure of our society.  This feeling of powerlessness and disconnection tempts me to believe myself complacent.  I may never incite political rebellion or facilitate mass change.  Traditional battles must be left to warriors of a different constitution.  But I must honor the unique person I am in this world and the work that is mine to offer.

Great art is often thought of as a record of extinction, extinct ways of being, ways of thinking, ways of knowing.  Perhaps my obsolescence uniquely qualifies me as an artist.  Becoming obsolete is not the same as worthlessness.  It is a lack of function in modern society.  Modern society may be damned anyway.

My sanctuary is a place of reverence.  It is a place of witnessing.  I heard a lot about being a witness, growing up in the Christian faith tradition.  The word meant not just to know God, but to speak of that knowing.  As artists we are witnesses.  We witness the opening of new wet wings into the light, and memorialize that event.  We sing the song as it arrives in our hearts.  We catch nuances of meaning in the stories of life.  We must believe in the value of this gentile work.  We must not succumb to acceptance of the violent and the indifferent.

To honor the divine in life, the wondrous, the fragile, the majestic, the synchronous, to delight in these things and claim them as my own, to encourage others to do the same.  This is my work.

Today may you…

Stone Circle Studio

Eat your peas with butter

Anoint yourself with cedar oil and rosemary and breathe

Listen to the wind and the stars, yes stars have an audible resonance

Linger in sun patches while they last

Love someone enough to feel their presence through to your core

Let them transform you for a moment, then release them, then

Love yourself enough to return to your own contours.