Today is Inspire Your Heart with Art day. It happens every year on January 31st. It has become my new favorite HOLIDAY.
Take a moment today and feel some art. What kind of emotions does it evoke? Art surrounds us even when we do not realize it. It is the music we listen to, the packaging on the products we buy, the painting hanging in the museum, the car driving too slow in front of you, the book or the article you just read, the icicle hanging from the gutter. Today is the day to examine that artwork and think about what it makes you feel.
I’m one of those people who sings to the songs in my car while driving down the road. You may even spot me doing some crazy arm gestures while dancing in the driver’s seat. No worries, I am not having a seizure, I am just feeling the music. I find it relaxing and liberating. It is my time to be “ME.” Too often the stress of everyday life can make me feel like a macrame owl, a little bit wise but entirely made up of knots, and art helps untie those knots. Today on your way home crank up the music and dance. Instead of yelling at the guy in front of you going too slow, look at his car and the design of it. Those brake lights may actually impress you with the engineering of them. For dinner tonight, play with your food, you might create a forest out of that broccoli.
Art is made to inspire and make you feel. It can transport you to other worlds and take you back in time with memories and the playfulness of childhood. It can help you understand other cultures and see other perspectives on life. Art can transform people, places, and things.
Today is Inspire Your Heart With ART Day, it could transform you.
For the past several days I have tried to write a blog post, but as soon as I wrote something I would quickly cut it because it may have offended someone. Who it would offend, I don’t know, but it really didn’t matter. Offensiveness seems to be the new normal and I do not want to be “normal.”
I live in a small town just outside of Cape Girardeau, MO. Today the town is being visited by the 45th President, Donald J. Trump, Sean Hannity, and Cape Girardeau’s home boy Rush Limbaugh. There is an electricity in the air as a storm is brewing in the West, (seriously, the weatherman is calling for tornadoes this evening) the tension mounts on my social media pages, and I sit here wondering, whatever happened to civility? I scroll through my Facebook feed and see one accusatory comment after another. It does not matter which side a person is on, the accusations are coming from the Red and the Blue. How can we merge the two and make a lovely, vibrant purple?
When did this become an Us vs. Them country? To borrow from one of the greatest authors of all time, Harper Lee, “I think that there is just one kind of folks. Folks.” Scout Finch had a good role model in Atticus Finch and I think we could all use a reminder of Atticus’ advice today, “if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view-until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” People develop their beliefs based on their life experiences, not another persons background. We can learn from other people’s experiences, but it is one’s own life that develops their beliefs and foundations.
The one thing I have learned during this tumultuous time is, you are not going to change anything by being accusatory and mean to people who think differently. It only makes the divide deeper and wider. Saying that all Republicans/Conservatives are deplorable or all Democrats/Liberals are the Devil’s spawn is not going to heal this divide. It only causes more discord. If you must believe in an Us vs. Them scenario then think of it this way; the more divisiveness and discord ther is, the more ground “THEY” gain. Don’t ask me who “They” are, because I do not know. That one I will leave to the conspiracy theorist to decide. As for me today…. I’m going to go pass out daisies and breath mints, because if a person is going to yell at me, then they better have fresh breath while they are doing it.
Sitting on a boat, in the middle of a lake, at the midnight hour, I lay back on the floor and stare up to the vast cosmos to ponder the beauty of the world.
My mind slips down the Milky Way and circles around Venus, then dives in to bathe in the Big Dipper. A falling star sparks for a second and then is gone like the memory of times gone by. The cool summer breeze caresses the skin and sends a shiver down the spine to awaken the memories of childhood.
Star light, star bright
First star I see tonight
I wish I may, I wish I might
Have the wish I wish tonight
As the siren song of the cicadas’ amplifies against the night sky, I rise to sit at the edge of the boat and allow my toes to skim the surface of the water while the moon wake beacons me to join it in a water dance. In the distance I hear the calling, “Whip-poor-will, whip-poor-will” telling me to join in the dance with the moon. Gently sinking into the water the coolness of the summer breeze is met with the warmth of the water creating a mist in my mind that washes away the stress of the day.
To float on the blackness of the water while staring at the stars, THIS is what calms the cacophony in my soul. Must the night end? Can the sun sleep in for a day? Allow me to stay in the caress of the water while the world goes on it’s merry way. Just a few minutes more, please, just a few minutes more.