“Be selective with your battles. Sometimes peace is better than being right." -Unknown
The past months we have experienced the perfect storm of politics and pandemic, battering our psyches, challenging our beliefs and rocking our sense of security. Adding even greater woe are the ravages of concurrent natural disasters, experienced on the West Coast with fire and brutal storms in the South. Hourly news reports list our transgressions through COVID updates of mounting statistics confirming predictions we tried to ignore. We know that science will save us but first it will kick the $#*! out of us!
Conversations with friends are often defensive centering around explanations why or how we are abiding by all the COVID precautions while eating at restaurants, partying with friends and family or getting a haircut. Each of us have negotiated our own deals with the CDC guidelines determining what we can “live” with and what are the deal breakers. Yet, the virus is thriving, growing in fervor with each victim it touches, ravishing our economy and crippling our institutions.
I am a news junkie and regularly watch several different stations for a broader view, but what was once a hobby and intellectual stimulus has become a morbid fascination. I have watched news programming transition from provocative and enlightening to accusing and indicting… UNCLE!! I turn off the news, bidding adieu to Lester Holt, Wolf Blitzer, Rachel Maddow and Brett Baer. Don’t know if or when I will return as they are catalysts for my own fears and their drink is far too intoxicating.
Let’s take a collective deep, cleansing breath. We need calm to soothe our souls, settle our minds, and shutter our mouths. We need quiet to encourage our own thoughts to take root and bloom. Enter the gallery….there is something serene, humbling and very calming looking at art. In a sense, a gallery is like a church where your spirit is mended and renewed. Each work of art draws you into its image and story, away from the cacophony of today. The viewer listens with their eyes finding meaning without words. Science has long documented the healing powers of art on individuals and on the community. Art takes our surroundings that are filled with calamity, danger, death and “everything” —selectively adds and subtracts- creating order and structure thus allowing for peace and beauty.
Artists capture that sense of calm in landscapes, waterscapes, still life and botanicals. Those feelings, too, are contagious as I have noticed the behaviors of guests who wander into our gallery: they speak in hushed voices; linger at certain works, changing their angle of vision and perspective; and always thank me before leaving. Whether a purchase is made or not, a gallery visit is an experience where a moment with a piece of art may leave an indelible mark on your soul!