Art – as we think of it in the usual context – does indeed save lives in an emotional and spiritual sense. So many times in my life, seeing something beautiful that someone else has created out of love or yearning does something to lift my spirits or touch my heart. It can also be life-changing at critical times.
But there are other kinds of art too – the “skill in conducting any human activity.” These skills can save lives too.
2009 will be challenging emotionally and financially for my family as we deal with the excision of the rare tumor my sister Carrie has in her jaw. We already know that it will take most of the year for the entire jaw reconstruction process to be completed. She’ll face many fears, experiences large losses, and feel a lot of physical pain, but she is a very dear person and her special art is her honesty and the way she brings light to others (well,that, and also being a fantastic cook!). So I figure she’ll burn all the brighter for her experiences.
I know some people who never see that they also are masters of very important art forms: the art of smiling, the art of kindness, the art of storytelling, the art of caring for animals with a passion and deep respect, the art of cooking, the art of being a good friend, the art of listening – well, you see my drift?
All these arts do save lives, believe me! So from one artist to another (and that means all of you), thank you for keeping up your skills, and may they bring you joy and satisfaction in this new year.