« Agrigento | Main | More Sicilian Explorations, and a Watercolor Disaster »

August 23, 2019


"For me, the contemplative practices of art, music, journaling and being in nature are part of this path, and so is silent meditation, especially in a world that has become cacophonous to the point of damaging our very ability to speak effectively to one another or listen to what is said. On the other side of the coin is Action, but action (of which speech is a part) must proceed from a centered, calm, free, and deeply considered place in order to have any power against the forces that threaten everything we hold dear."

Thank you. Your black and white drawings on toned paper, together with your thoughts, carry the message of a sustaining spiritual

And thank you for saying that. I appreciate it very much,and am glad if my work helps even a tiny bit with the toxicity we're all dealing with.

I have been thinking a lot about the role of fear in the disasters unfolding around us.

Women live with fear their whole lives, and yet rarely resort to aggression and violence. Men, it seems, cannot tolerate feelings of vulnerability, weakness, or fear. They lash out. They destroy. ANYTHING to avoid feeling powerless or in danger.

We need to move from the politics of fear to the politics of mutual aid and hope.

Your post is one of the more powerful ones I've read on our current situation--and I've been reading a lot. Reading your post makes me realize how much of my reading is not helpful at all. I think that I'm reading to "understand" the situation--but I understand it all much too deeply. Your phrase about being in mourning resonated with me--what a great way of describing my current state of mind. I've thought that I'm just tired of summer heat--but it's a much deeper tiredness. Thank you for these words and the deeper ideas that anchor your words.

It's a grim thought but three of the practitioners of nonviolence you cite were themselves assassinated. The point being that none of the three drew away from the violence; they exposed themselves to it, made themselves vulnerable, armed only with conviction and an inner calmness.

Forgetting for the moment the violence, discrimination, carelessness and active greed that is happening elsewhere, the political situations in our respective homelands are made more horrific in that they are both the product of governments that are nominally democratic. In the past democracy was a comfort blanket, something we could take refuge in. Now it seems we were deluded, democracy is far from perfect. As Churchill quoted: "democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

This is very hard to take. Journalism is not an ideal route towards calmness but I have toyed with mindfulness; these are times when one needs extra support. I worry too about the exaltation I find as I delve into singing; might I be using music as a temporary insulation against a distinctly non-musical world?

Even so I feel I must not turn away from the facts of unpleasantness. In the end - and again it's probably journalism talking - it is better to be informed, even if that information brings only hopelessness. Good times have happened, haven't they?

Beth, I'm fully in tune with all that you've expressed in this post and these wonderful drawings create a relevant chiaroscuro accompaniment of sadness, attention to beauty and despair at all that threatens it.

Roderick's comment also resonates with me as I feel that the catastrophic situations taking place at this time locally and globally as a result of terrible human-made decisions and indecisions, are so outrageous that exposing one's self to outrage becomes a necessity, if only as a way of being in solidarity with those who suffer the consequences.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.