Art in the Middle of Dying

Digital illo + text: Angels DescendingThere’s little in the world that gives more meaningful respite from earthly trials than art. Those sorrows and struggles that range from the brutality of human weakness and evil to the most monstrous of natural disasters have no true cure, no end. Safe to assume that they have existed since long before recorded history, and will outlast the lives of any of us now present. But art—a painting, a dance, a song, a story—in its turn outlasts, too, the horrors and madness of the darkest time. What exists in the background, dwells in the underground, during suffering and oppression, so strong that it cannot be extinguished, and both records the terrible event and defies it? Art.

If we learn anything from our history, it should include the knowledge that any threat to eliminate or suppress art by force or merely by neglect and dissolution is a time when we should most avidly practice our defiance of oblivion. When it is bleakest, we should dance most wildly and gracefully; when dark, sing boldly and sweetly; when empty, we should fill the void with thought and challenge it with beauty. The blank Nothing may not mock us into meek obsolescence if we refuse to silence our passion and surrender our dreams.

10 thoughts on “Art in the Middle of Dying

    • Once again, you capture it precisely. Both are correct…at times…. How I long for a world in which the conditions for all could be at their best. Perhaps, though, it’s more *useful* somehow that we understand the difference between ease and difficulty through personal experience; I certainly don’t know. Thank you for your thoughtful comment, my friend!

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