3.15.2011

The Art of Living in an Imperfect World

The heartbreaking events that are continuing to unfold in Japan are tragic and frightening. What is happening in Libya is tragic and frightening. So much happens each day in this world that I find unfathomable. I sometimes feel dizzy and sick with the anguish of not being able to do much to help suffering people. Blogging about art and life seems so trivial. Those feelings are urging me to think about ways I can help. I think the biggest way I can help is to try my best to be responsible for the thoughts I put out in the world. I can really look at my thoughts and try to make them positive and loving. I believe this to be something concrete that I can control. I've found that it really matters when I judge or become impatient or harsh with someone in my life. They feel it and, as a result, suffer. That is something I can change. Doing something to put another person's needs before my own is another way I can help. Forgiving and forgetting....that can help. Comforting someone in my life by really listening, or with homemade food or a peaceful space, are things I can do. Making art that is true to myself can have an encouraging effect on others. I can do that. I can focus on something beautiful in life each day and wish that for everyone. These things seem very abstract in the face of all the need in the world right now, but I believe they are what will ultimately promote healing in the  world. This kind of mindful living is the highest form of art to which I aspire. May I be granted the courage to continue to pursue that art.


And may we all find courage and joy in the normal, everyday beauty that is also part of living in this imperfect world.

10 comments:

Kitty Kilian said...

This is a very difficult subject.. illustrated by a beautiful picture by the way. I am sure you are not really helping my Japanese friend who lives in Tokyo and is very scared today, by making your art.. yet actually no one can help her right now. So wheter or not we live our own lives in a fulfilling way is of no consequence to her.. but it is of consequence to us and the people close to us. Anyway, being a good person is a daily challenge, and the better we are, the more we will make the world a nicer place. I agree with you there..
Oh we can make a phonecall to Tokyo of course.

Lari Washburn said...

Oh yes, a very difficult subject. Thanks for your comment Kitty. And I wish your friend comfort right now.

barn swallow press said...

Hi Lari,

Thank you for that post. I have been having a hard time even thinking about Japan because I tend to dwell on these things, and have even refused to look at footage. I am maybe weak, but I am not saying that I am ignoring it, it is just that tragic images rarely if ever fade for me. Maybe because I am a very visual person. I find that actively doing something in my life that I can control like sending money to Red Cross or simply making sure I am treating others well is sometimes the only thing to do in the face of life's tragedies. Thank you for reminding me of this.

Your post also made me think of a story someone told me once and I went looking for it online, and found a version here

http://leemeiee.wordpress.com/2009/03/04/of-gossip-feather-pillows/.

Also thank you for checking out my blog and for your kind comments.
Maeve

Kitty Kilian said...

Ah I was thinking about it some more and really, I don't know either. It is probably like my friend said: she was sort of laughing yesterday about the ridiculous spot they live in (geologically) and because the overwhelming power of nature is something anyone can only stand in awe of... so she decided to laugh.

Lari Washburn said...

Maeve, thank you for your comments, and for that link. That is a perfect story to illustrate what I was trying to say..everything is contagious...especially love.

Lari Washburn said...

Kitty, that's the thing...we can think and think, but really, life is just so incomprehensible. I don't think anyone knows what to think or do much of the time!

Kathryn said...

A beautiful post, Lari. I just hope to remind people about how beautiful the Japanese are as well as how inspiring they are to artists. I will hold these thoughts until they are better and can once again go on creating the beautiful things in the beautiful ways that they do ...

Lari Washburn said...

Yes Kathryn, there are so many wonderful Japanese artists who inspire with their aesthetic of grace and simplicity. I just feel so sad for what they are experiencing now. One thing I know for sure is that meaningful art will come out of all of this.

Laura Washburn said...

Beautifully written Lari. I too believe that we can all make a change by thinking positive thoughts, being kind to one another and being true to ourselves and in the art we create xo

Lari Washburn said...

And that's part of the reason you are so dear to me. XO!

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