Yesterday: second-to-last appointment with my art therapist; she directed me to make an altar, a place I could look to, or sit beside, in order to remind myself of … whatever I wanted to remind myself of! Pick a theme, she said, suggesting themes like protection, inspiration, healing, peace, calm. At first I said, NO, don’t want to do this, it sounds a bit too pagan. But then my mind filled up with ideas, and I said, YES, and I made a small altar using the “artist’s statement” I created for that creativity course I taught in 2019, which is framed and already sits propped on a small side table in the my studio.
“What if the purpose of life is the seek beauty?”
I placed a candle and incense and a book of matches on the table, and set my most recent publications underneath, along with the notebooks containing my daily cartooning project (which I’ve done during the month of December in 2020 and 2021, and wanted to remind myself to do again this year).
I tidied up.
I declared that my theme would be beauty!
The universe heard (as it does).
Yesterday: on the mat, eyes closed in Kasia’s kundalini class, she talked about beauty, about the pursuit of beauty being a worthy human occupation, building on all the creativity of artists past, creating communion with the future. “The world will be saved by beauty,” she quoted from Fyodor Dostoevsky, and in that moment, I believed it.
How do you know something is beautiful?
Because you love it, you are drawn to it, you want to protect it and keep it whole because you recognize it as being sacred (and some may want to destroy it, for the same reason); you can build on it, it changes, it takes on different meaning for different people; it is tangible, you know beauty with your senses, with your body, it is fleeting, ephemeral, it is of its moment, its time, it has the capacity to speak across generations and cultures and years, but not always; it is a way to communicate with the world and to receive from the world around you; it is not always natural, it can be composed and articulated and sung and made, or it might be found, stumbled over; it might stop you in awe, or stop you in pain, it might remind you of something you already knew or believed and loved long ago, or it might light a way to the future, it might be a path you’ve yet to walk, an invitation, it might inspire other creations and compositions; it communicates; it can be raw or refined, it sweetens the day, it penetrates to the mind, it quickens the heart; it can repulse, and it can draw in; it can intimidate, drop you to your knees, and it can be accessible to anyone passing by; it can be holy, it can be profane; it speaks ever and always, it speaks in fractional moments; it can be a gesture, it can leave no trace, and it can be monumental; it speaks to one or to many, in many voices or just one; it can be symphonic, collective, communal, or it can be private, silent; it is all of these things, of course, which makes its pursuit such an adventure, a mind-opening, mind-bending journey–
I am a seeker of beauty
And I seek to share what I find