Starved For Love And Beauty

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Painting by Marney Ward

Before a child speaks, it sings.

Before they write, they paint.

As soon as they stand, they dance.

Art is the basis of human expression.

Phylicia Rashad

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Of the many needs we have as human beings, the one that brings us the most inner tranquility is sharing who we are, how we feel, what we are thinking, and what we are discovering about ourselves. We all need a sacred Witness in life, a person who can listen without judgment while knowing the right questions to ask that continually illuminate our path. We need this quality of deep sharing with another person because through such dialogue, we witness our own maturity through the years, we grapple with our own wounds, we cleanse ourselves of wrong-doings, we dig more carefully into the hidden resources in our nature, we muse over feelings that take us by surprise, we walk with a companion through labyrinths of dark confusion, we confront great questions about the meaning and purpose of our life and we examine what it is we believe to be true about the Sacred.

This is not an easy world to live in. It is one filled with chaos and vague rules. We are the ones in charge of ourselves for the most part. But regardless of how chaotic or technical or sophisticated a world we live in, we cannot change our basic nature. We thrive on truth and we disintegrate when we live a life of betrayal, especially to our own being. — Caroline Myss

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We are educating people out of their creative capacities…I believe this passionately, that we don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it. Or rather, we get educated out of it. — Ken Robinson

I don’t know why our patriarchal culture is so dismissive of the values of beauty and kindness, because those masculine virtues of efficiency and power create a lot of misery. If we bothered to pay attention to our hunger for the feminine graces of life, we might notice a strange feeling of emptiness haunting us. There just isn’t enough attention given to creativity when we’re young. We’re expected to step on the competitive treadmill as early as possible and not get off until we die.

We are educated by our social rules to live a stupid life. If we resist, we are eccentrics, outcasts, wrong somehow. But you have to sense something in yourself that you refuse to falsify or violate if you’re going to live your life as if it means something. You have to buck the trend to live on the surface of yourself. Finding out the truth of what kind of being you are is not easy in a world that is continually measuring you with false yardsticks.

You need all the help you can get.

You don’t know where to start. You get distracted and overwhelmed by demands to be other than what you are. Your potential is never suspected. The tragedy of the world we have constructed is its one sidedness, it’s blindness to our depths.

The people we have elected to follow are empty shells, especially the feckless monster at the top of the heap, without a clue as to what a meaningful life is or how to have one.

What’s wrong with this picture? The essential culture is ugly and can only inculcate and perpetuate ugliness. Just the cheap and shoddy built environment is enough to make you weep. Education is a travesty, our food is making us sick, nobody has time to live since the treadmill is moving too fast, and the worst is we are so overwhelmed it’s all invisible to us. We know something’s wrong but we just can’t seem to put our finger on it. It’s too pervasive. We’re isolated. We have nothing to compare it to.

If we got out in the world and saw how other cultures live, we might start to ask a few questions, but Americans don’t get outside their borders much. Only a small minority even has a passport.

Our smallness, our reluctance to question, our restricted vision of things introduces a rather severe blowback called karma. I’m afraid we’re in for a long deferred education in what we have overlooked and what it behooves us to pay attention to now.

I think that’s a fortunate thing. We may be given a chance to save the world.

Written by

I occasionally write fiction and also about creativity, loving, language learning and travel. I’m a longtime painter and reader.

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