Art is a shadow of what a person is thinking…a small glimpse of what they hold inside. Little secrets, regrets, joys…every line has its own meaning. ~Sarah, Los Cerros Middle School, 1999
A Glimpse of Artist’s Visions
This past weekend I gorged on a feast for the soul, a series of the most tasty fine arts dishes that I’ve consumed in quite a while. The feast began on Thursday night with a unique event at the art museum, a PechaKucha Night where several artists each showed 20 slides of their work, making a 20 second comment on each piece. These were the hors d’oeuvres. Each was a small delicious sampling of the artistic vision of each artist, and like all art, each vision was a glimpse into the soul of the artist.
Art Awakens the Soul
That is why I love art: music, dance, visual art, literature and theatre. I am uplifted by this soul connection and by seeing the interior of another human being expressed through art. Twyla Tharp, the wonderfully innovative choreographer, once said, “Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.” We can leave our rational minds and the mundane aspects of our lives and attend the dance of life, exercising our mental, emotional, and spiritual selves in new ways. Art awakens us to a different point of view, one we might never have experienced had we not seen a particular piece of art. Art may take us to a depth of knowing beyond words.
The main course of my feast each day was the arts walk in the River District, a buffet of sensory delight. Overloaded by color, texture, and design, I could only embrace what was there. I let it seep through my pores and become a joyful energy that awakened me to the diversity and uniqueness of human expression.
Having looked at art all my life, I have long since giving up the need to attach meaning to what I see. It is interesting to talk to artists about why they use a certain color or image, but often the artist doesn’t have a rational explanation. Images for a sculpture or painting may arise in the artist’s mind mysteriously just as the ideas I receive for my writing are frequently surprising gifts from Spirit.
Going Deeper Unites
My soul was further awakened on Saturday evening, when I ended the day with a dessert even more satisfying than chocolate. While I enjoy the intensity and brief pleasure of dark chocolate, the flavor of Anam Cara’s music has lasted for days. Listening to Mary Davis’ soulful ballads, especially “Life Moves,” reminded me of the depth and width of human emotion taking me to deeper places within myself. Listening to her sing of challenges in her own life reminded me we are all One and how our love for one another can heal so many wounds.
Dancing With the Divine
On Sunday evening, my feast of the soul ended with the Dances of Universal Peace based on a cycle of seasonal invocations to the Goddess. Like strawberry shortcake, there were many divine layers to these dances. We learned basic steps, then layered on symbolic gestures and ancient chants, each enriching the experience in some way. As we danced, our individual energies created a community connection that carried us all along, blending with the chanting. As I moved, there were moments when I was lost in the energy of the dance, imagining the goddess presence in our midst and being in touch with my own Divine Feminine and the source of my creativity.
Since the weekend, I have felt renewed in some deep way. Spiritually sated by the wide range of sensory experiences spiced by innovation and originality, I feel grateful for the abundance of soul awakening experiences that stretched and opened my perceptions. Today I feel like there is more of me to express and share and give. I am more awakened to the dance of life. That’s what art can do if we are willing to take it in.
How will you dance with the Divine and feed your soul this week?
© 2011 Georganne Spruce