The arts provide alternative realities for both the artist and the witness - it opens up a space within our hearts as well as our minds, bodies and spirits, thereby unsettling our perceptions of ourselves and the world. Similar to the Down the Rabbit Hole blog, which explores how books impact our lives by inspiring new thoughts, follow me on a creative journey For The Love Of Art - a random blog posted intermittently when the muse visits unexpectedly.
Bends but does not break is a painting by Cindy Billingsley which was uploaded on December 31st, 2014. Source: https://fineartamerica.com/featured/bends-but-does-not-break-cindy-billingsley.html No copyright infringement intended. We do not have rights to the image included.
In the book "Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life," the author, Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD, explores in depth the topics of empathy, expression, observation, feelings, needs, behaviour and impact as well as the over-arching theme of communication. For me, the arts has always been a form of communication, especially around the most important things we are trying to make sense of or assign meaning to - sometimes the most painful experiences and challenging moments are the hardest to understand, let alone articulate out loud with the right words or linear way of thinking and processing. Art is subjective, often born from an artist trying to better understand his/her/their self, the internal landscape, the external world and personal truths, and the final product (i.e. the completed piece of art) then acts as a reflection, like a mirror being held up to society. While reading this book, I re-visited a number of memories around violence, and although the words between the pages were helpful, the most impactful moments of digesting this book came from taking in other forms of art around violence, communication and other topics, like needs. I share with you links to other forms of art that got caught in my net as I read this book and learned more about the emotion of anger:
https://youtu.be/WpYeekQkAdc In closing, I think it fitting to share a beautiful quote by Maya Angelou, which makes me think of the potential harm various forms of communication can make: “Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.” Let's find a way to love, accept and forgive, my friends, as we commit ourselves to more positive ways of communicating.