Monday, September 17, 2007

Face time

"Art is our one true global language. It knows no nation. It favors no race. It acknowledges no class. It speaks to our need to heal, reveal and transform. It transcends our ordinary lives and lets us imagine what is possible. It creates a dialogue between individuals, and communication between communities. It allows us to see and to listen to each other."
Richard Kamler

Came across this blog poking fun at the war protesters because it had the word circus in it. (The word circus hasn't always been used so disparagingly.) Granted, the protesters are not pro musicians in this case, but everyday humans raising their voices in song, letting loose rhythms in time to their heartbeats, dramatizing atrocities lightheartedly, perhaps because the pain of it all is too much to bear if you take it seriously. Maybe if we didn’t spend the trillions of dollars on warfare we could better learn how to sing, play music and perform theater. Hmm, what would the world would be like if instead of bombs and militia we had songs and festive gatherings? Surrounded ourselves with artworks, statues, paintings, beauty?

If we choose to support conflict instead of peace, we get what we buy. Must you respond so negatively? Isn’t there just a tiny space in your brain to begin to think differently? To embrace others voices and hear what’s at the heart of it all? To envision a kinder gentler world as this president’s father once said? There is such anger in the air these days. People respond so heartlessly and spew cruelties upon hearing or seeing another point of view. Anger is a cover for pain. What is this pain we are feeling? Perhaps dialogue is the answer. But instead we bury ourselves in thankless work, the incessant drive for more and more money, leaving loved ones behind and there is no face time left. We peer into our computers and televisions instead of into each others eyes. We change the channel instead of considering a differing point of view. We have 60 second opinions like the newscasters we’ve been listening to. There is no depth. No deeper thought than the 1 minute commercials we’ve been brainwashed by.

Whew, I just had to let that loose.

Melanie and son BeauJarred Schekeryk 2007

On a kinder, gentler note. I also came across this petition to put “Melanie” into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I visited there once and it is a fine testament to the power of music and its influence on our history. I’d like to see her included. Here’s the link, decide for yourself.

Peace out,


p.s. - As I searched online for the author of the first quote I was stunned. It comes from an artist speaking exactly to what I just wrote. Here's a clip and a link. I suddenly feel a little less alone.

I want to introduce you to Seeing Peace.

Former Secretary of Defense of the United States, Robert McNamara, commenting on wars of the 20th century, wrote:

"In retrospect, we can now understand these catastrophes for what they were: essentially the products of a failure of the imagination."

Seeing Peace was born out of an understanding that this failure of the imagination is the missing link in most institutional responses to conflict and hostility in the world. That without the imagination, without the ability to "think outside the box," without a vision from our creative community, our responses to war and aggression will only institute more wars and aggressions.
Seeing Peace intends to rectify this by bringing the artist to the table. We intend to manifest a forum where the imagination is not only present, but is an active participant in the process of envisioning peace.

In traditional societies art was integral to the community. Essential to its survival. The artist was considered an important part of the community. Artists were looked at to shape the community as creative life and for their imaginative input during times of stress or simply when all leaders came to the table to discuss issues of concern.

The artist was invited and came to the table.

Seeing Peace presents a vision. The act of creation marks a victory over destruction and death.
We celebrate the artist at the table.

See Peace.

Richard Kamler

But I do believe in the power of art to change consciousness. And I know that the simple persistence and the will to go on working, declaring oneself visible and accountable is the only sure practice through which we can live and keep alive our goals and visions.

- Arlene Raven

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the support!