Monday, April 14, 2008

Art: where the broken wings fly after all


Every person has beauty and value. Some have other aspects which obscure the beauty and value, but it's there.

Some of us are eccentric, obviously old, ridiculously odd, too fat, too thin or perhaps misshapen. Some folks, though beautiful, are misshapen in ways more difficult to see - disfigurement by the constant prejudgement of others, where every word was twisted, shaded, weighted and measured against some mythical standard of perfection. Or by constant criticism during childhood where every flaw was carved up like a roast repeatedly. This unhappy learning is what they latter replay on others.

Sometimes people find it really difficult to get past it all. Some are like moths that have emerged from the cocoon in a jar that was too small. (See my pencil drawing above) Their wings unfolded only midway and are forever bent. Yet even in this there can be value.

Like many other resources, the past can be transformed. Rather than repeat it, and live it out again and again, rather than turn the bitter criticism or the too clever manipulation on others -- the best use of the miseries of the past is to render them down into art. (Art in the expansive sense - whether literary, musical, visual, theatrical etc.) In that way it is an offering, and something is given to world. It doesn't even matter if the world accepts it. It is the making of it, and perhaps the offering of it, that heals.
- Mar  Walker