Sunflowers + Mindful Rebellion
So a thing happened recently that left me feeling ... shook.
Many of you will know that I have been a painter much, much longer than I have been a farmer. I also grew up on Vancouver Island, where cutting class to protest clearcutting in Clayoquoat (still my fav place on the planet) or the Carmanah was a coming-of-age ritual.
To watch two young people attempt to destroy Van Gogh's 'Sunflowers' this week in protest against the UK's oil and gas industry hit hard.
They asked - "Is art worth more than life, more than food?"
And all I could think is - this a perfect metaphor.
Art IS life; it is life as a verb, a record of the ACT of being alive.
To create sometime from nothing, using creativity and intellect and feeling - this is a uniquely human experience.
One where we call into focus what it means to be alive, to be human. To celebrate the absolute miracle that we are here, on this rock hurling through space, with consciousness and the ability to both perceive and create beauty. To think, to question, to truly SEE - both the world around us and ourselves.
So few of us are living anymore.
We are not active in our own lives. We have surrendered our agency in a collective act of learned helplessness. We feel lost. We grasp vainly for purpose or numb ourselves into oblivion with too much tv, social media, booze and pharmaceuticals.
There is so much pain and fear out there, and how do we rebel against it?
We destroy the beauty that IS there in the midst of all that darkness, call it worthless, willingly dissolve into the post-modern abyss of nihilism. We are lost.
The times we live in call for action. But not the action of death and destruction.
What we require is love. The act of creating beauty and light and wisdom where there is only darkness and fear. Of holding up and calling for the best that we have to offer, not dousing it in soup and vitriol.
A candle loses none of its light by lighting another.
Be a lamp, be a lifeboat, be a ladder. Help someone's soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd. - Rumi