Art is just another word for hope

Last night while watching the stars, I had a moment of insight that’s sticking with me, today.

It might not seem profound to most people, but it rang like a bell in my brain:

It’s all an elaborate game that we’re watching play out in front of us.

From the crazy-making politics of our current administration to the manipulation of truth, we are under assault in an endless game of political dodge-ball — over which we have only influence, at best. And since dodge-ball has been known to leave bruises, a tough hide is required.

Calling for a time-out does not make you a coward.

In the process of obsessively watching the action and trying to avoid a direct hit, I have once again been slammed against my personal wall. I can take in no more crazy. No more hate. No more manipulation. No more division.

Times like this, I run for cover and comfort. First into the arms of Mother Nature and second, Mother Art. News about people who are making — or at least trying to make — positive change in our troubled world is a close third when I’m seeking calming alpha waves and inspiration. Studying history-making and art-making women also adds perspective, when a time-out is required.

That Will & Grace is back on the air, helps, too.

Real art therapy

I recently posted a random series of public domain images that, judging by the response, seemed to have gone beyond simply helping me cope. In no particular order or theme other than that they move me, I’ll share them here with you:

Whatever you might think of an artist’s subject matter, or the artist, the power of art to inspire us while highlighting human flaws, heroism, tragedy, and beauty is undeniable. Art has been a powerful form of expression throughout our collective history. We in contemporary North America are accustomed to the freedom to express ourselves in the direction of our choice and as the need arises. In other times and other cultures, it was, and is, not so easy.

Creativity is not a luxury. It’s a life-line.

Find hope…
In anger, find peace.
In grief, solace.
In pain, comfort.
In fear, release.
In despair, hope.
In solitude, love.

 

Resources…

Psychology Today: Alpha Brain Waves Boost Creativity and Reduce Depression

Social Movements & Culture: Art Activism

Atlas Obscura: Kick-Ass Women

Smart Women Write: Finding Guidance in Activist Art History

Artists:

Mary Cassatt | Martin Johnson Heade | Philippe Halsman | Georgia O’Keeffe
Maria Sibylla Meraon | Ivan Dmitri Michael Octs | Odilon Redon
Henri Rousseau | Alfred Stieglitz | Vincent van Gogh

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