Power of art

July 28, 2004

DispossessedOn Saturday last, my friend and comrade in arms Heather Rose (spokesperson for Artist-for-Forests), gave me the great honour of reading the just finished manuscript of her latest novel, ‘Dispossessed’.

On Monday, late in the afternoon while curled up in a cushioned chair with a quiet winter sun flooding into the room with a soft tenderness, I sobbed uncontrollably as the last few pages were read.

How is it, that what I know as fiction, can touch the deeper recesses of a buried sadness within my soul and bring it to the surface of the physical realm manifesting as great balls of tears, wet cheeks and guttural howls?

In moments like this, despite revisiting old pains, I marvel at how art, in the fulness of its creativeness, can move mountains and can bring to the forefront those aspects of our lives that can get lost in the hurly burly of today’s world.

Art is a reminder that a little more attentiveness be given to the ethical and moral responsibilities behind the priorities we have placed on ourselves.

The power of art is its ability to help us see more clearly what needs to be seen.

Peace fire dawn

This morning, while sitting by the Peace Fire watching the dawn’s light slowly advance from the distant hills toward the shadowed flames in front of me, I reflected on these words written by Heather in ‘Dispossessed’:

“What is true, is that it is but a fortunate few of us who make peace with those we have loved, and those we have hurt, before we die.”

“The curse of growing older is that we must live not only with what we have become but also with what we will never be.”

“Two fluid things, me water, it water, hearing one another, like two instruments lying side by side, a flute and a cello maybe, finding the sound we shared and playing it.”

“But was it a matter of struggling? Or was it about forests, and going when your time was up? Did a giant eucalyptus lament its passing? Did an oak, split in two by lightning, long for something other than its destiny?”

When I walked away from the Peace Fire, I left behind a simple prayer that somewhere there was a publisher who would allow the greater world an opportunity to read what I was able to read and found so moving.

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