Would someone please answer the following question for me: Why do Americans – actually, I think Westerners generally, but I will stick with Americans – believe art is something that must be approached so … well … seriously? With most art, most Americans seem to believe that, when looking at a painting or a piece of sculpture or seeing a play or listening to a piece of music, they are obligated, on pain of being branded as culture-phobic philistines, to wear a facial expression that announces to the world Pity me! I am dying of terminal hemorrhoids!
Well, before anyone makes any cracks about that remark, I will back up a step or two and say that, yes, to be sure, some works of art are explicitly intended to evoke play, laughter, and light-hearted dalliance. A good example is
Pearl Buck circa 1972 courtesy of Dutch National Archives, The Hague under CC BY-SA 3.0 nl license
I give you the books I’ve made,Body and soul, bled and flayed.Yet the essence they containIn one poem is made plain,In one poem is made clear:On this earth, through far or near,Without love there’s only fear.
Essence by Pearl Buck
Yesterday was the anniversary of Pearl Buck’s birth. She was the founder ofWelcome House for the adoption of mixed-race children, thought in her day to be unadoptable. I consider her my spiritual mother.
“. . . the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members.” Pearl Buck (1892-1973).
Pearl Buck was an American novelist, writer, poet, activist, and humanitarian and the first woman to be awarded the N
"The past could be jettisoned ... but the seeds got carried." Joan Dideon, Where I Was From
out of the womb of Time they slidepeasants and kings, artisans and queensmurders, warriors, healers, peacemakersthe mothers and grandmotherson whose shoulders we stand
they are with us, their spirits sensedthough unseentheir hearts are in our mouthsas they guard and guide
feet rooted in the mud of Earthwe drink the wine, eat the rootsand sing the songs we inheritedtheir sayings are our sayingstheir voices are our voicescarried on breezeslike the music of cathedral bellslike the call of the muezzinthey chime and summonthey sum what came before
from their gnosiswhispered in the ear of silencewe learn: we are nameless but not lostwe too shall echoshall be the shouldersshal...