There is a life about the arts that I never took the time to truly appreciate. I have spent the later part of my life dedicated to science and academia. Graduate school has claimed the last eight years of my life and can boast if it so chooses. Ironically, what I love most about school isn’t learning about organisational behaviour or quantitative research methodology, but the familiar smell of old books, regardless of where they’ve been or where I find them; their textured covers indicative of a time before this; the yellowed thickness of the pages that bring to mind rough hands of a quiet tree logger with salt and pepper hair. I am awed by the grandiosity of the stone buildings, filled with deep mahogany staircases and narrow planks of warped pine. I adore the courtyards where I end my journey, accompanied by a blanket, a book, and a hand-full of jellybeans.
I am drawing closer to the idea that these “everyday” objects are art forms. Simple and non-traditional perhaps. But powerful enough to captivate. We are enthralled and perplexed by art, traditional and non-, because it is spirit. It is humanity. It is life. My life story is written by tragedy, joy, hope, agony, tears, peace, fervour, love. So is yours. We may not understand art. We may not identify with it. But we should appreciate it. We cannot deny that it is us...manifested in forms that frighten, inspire, and illuminate.
Given my recent notions, I have come to love the ‘life’ we pass by daily. The delicate patterns on china tea cups. The curves and angles of a weathered, wooden kitchen chair. The mellifluous voice of my mother’s, thick with hope and pain, singing Que Sera Sera to me when I was a child. Each not only pleases me, but teaches me about its creator. I glimpse at their spirit. If you are an artist, you are a courageous soul, bearing not only your creations for the world to appreciate and criticize, but for revealing your story to us. I imagine this to be a painful process for you. But a rewarding experience for us. You remind us of the beauty and tragedy of this world. You constantly and unwaveringly direct us towards love.
My recent focus on art coincides with my attendance at Toronto’s Luminato Festival 2011. Luminato celebrates art – theatre, music, dance, literature, visual arts, film, magic, food, fashion…all the parts of life that feed us energy, infuse us with happiness, and make us wonder. Stay tuned for my blog dedicated entirely to the festival that has made me stop and wonder.