Step Into The Dark Night

622. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

Two quotes collided right in front of me and there resonance took my breath away. First, from a television series on culture, the amazing Wade Davis met with Gretel Ehrlich in Greenland. In the interview she said, “Despair is a sin against imagination.”

Saul Bellow wrote, “I feel that art has something to do with the achievement of stillness in the midst of chaos – a stillness which characterizes prayer, too, and the eye of the storm. I think that art has something to do with an arrest of attention in the midst of distraction.”

I am never so quiet as when I paint. I am never so present as when I create. And I am certain that my culture no longer understands the power and role of its arts. It has confused art with distraction; it has relegated its primary mechanism for transformation to the basement of entertainment. Only the artists still recognize the door to the quiet holy.

Despair is noisy. It is urban and abstract. It is the chaos of an untethered mind, the heart gone dry. It is what happens when electric light blinds us to the stars.

Imagination is stillness. It is our most natural state, cousin to curiosity. My friend Carol once told me that, when going to Alaska, you reenter the food chain. If you think you suffer from a lack of imagination, step into the dark night and walk into woods. You will learn that it is not imagination that you lack but contact with anything that is real.

One Response

  1. Whoa, David. You’ve done it again. Imagination and curiosity, stillness and the quiet holy. You are going straight for the marrow, no passing ‘go’.

    (May I include ‘musicians’ under ‘artists’? Thanks. 😉 )

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