I Believe in Art

I believe in art.

Art defined generously, vastly, with the door flung wide open.

Sidewalk chalk stick figures that’ll last until the next rainfall and paintings in the Louvre’s permanent collection and the thumping bass beat that’s one car over at the red light.

I believe in a movie that captures a pain you’d lived your whole life thinking was yours alone. In the Mary Lee Hall poem read at funerals, “for my sake, turn again to life.” In those songs we listen to over and over because they reach into our chest and wrap our heart up in light or go lower to our belly and fill it up with fire.

I believe in the parts of art we see – the dances, poetry slams, paper snowflakes in elementary school windows.

And the parts of art we don’t see – the sculptor who returns to her studio after a devastating review and the playwright who writes knowing that yes, it might not be read, and yes, people might not care, but no, that won’t stop him.

I believe in the art we make even though it may be criticized; it is, after all, easier to destroy something than to create something. But it is the creators and not the critics who move this world of ours forward.

And above all, I believe in the human capacity to create. To pull an idea from within our flesh and fibers and make it into something outside ourselves. Something that says, in so many words or finger paints or movements or pick your medium, this is what it means for me to be human right now.

So in this world that can be brutal, unkind, and cynical, art turns again and again to life.

And I believe in that.

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