November 2016, Klil , Israel
Last month i decided to leave the rainny pacific north west coast for the winter and i am living in the north of Israel for a few months , in a small Moshav – a little village. I found a great Studio here and it is as close to ‘nature and peace’ as you can find in modern israel. I enjoy visiting my beautiful elderly mother who lives now in a nursing home in Israel and i benefit from spending special times with some close friends, so my heart is wide open .
However, coming from the beauty , peace and spaciousness of western Canada and now experiencing daily life in this small crowded and conflicted middle east country i must admit i am acutely aware of how much public life can be stressful . While i try to stay open and calm my limitations , sensitivities and wounds get constantly in my way of ‘accepting reality as it is here’ and the only thing left for me in order to keep my heart open is transforming it all to ‘Art’ . After all the artist is the voice of the people and as James Baldwin said – “Only an artist can tell … what it is like for anyone who gets to this planet to survive it ” .
I hear Toni Morrison whispering in my ear don’t despair – “No! No, no, no! This is precisely the time when artists go to work — not when everything is fine, but in times of dread. That’s our job!” yes i must agree that this is precisely the time when artists are mostly needed — in “Trump Times” .
But what kind of art ? from where and to where ?
I remember many years ago while living in Montreal and reflecting on the meaning of making art in this modern world how these words by Adrienne Rich touched my heart and resonnated with my feelings : ” This kind of art – like so many others uncannonized in the dominant culture – is not produce as a commodity but as part of a long conversation with the elders and with the future – and yes i do live and work believing in a future – such artists draw on a tradition where political struggle and spiritual continuity are meshed . Nothing needs be lost , no sacrifice is needed, the heart doesn’t turn into a stone. ”
Indeed , my heart never turns into a stone but it feels more and more like an icebreg melting in global warming especially as i see the faces of so many, many many individuals running around unhappy and stressed or simply feeling and saying : ” i am too ‘busy’ ” .
i believe the most valuable thing in life is Life itself. been constantly busy seems like the most amazing trap of modern life, a true paradox , what is the use of ‘progress’ and ‘ technology and comfort’ if not to free us to enjoy our lives more and to enjoy each other and the natural world around us more and more ? Is this ‘progress’ – for whom and for what ? are we really growing up or growing further and further away from our true natures while our hearts turn into plastic stones ?
How do we transition from the past into the future in a healthy way ? from the slow organic pace of the natural world into the busy fast life of modern urban centers ? how do we incorporate the feminine wisdom of mother earth into the constructed rules and ways of the masculine competitive and technological world of today ?
One thing is certain and obvious – we are all children of mother Earth and without our close and healthy connection with her, without her nourishment and guidance, we cannot keep alive, healthy and in balance with all Life on Earth. When we damage our place in the web of life, we are ‘dead’ while still breathing. Simply , when the interconnection of humans to Earth breaks we become like cancer cells, organisms that destroy the very home that shelters and feeds us, progressing towards a painful and stupid death, so stupid since it is of our own creation.
I see my old mother becoming a charming child, and i think : if growing old is returning to be a child , let us stay conscious children through life and not just in old age, let us keep the inner child alive and healthy and loving the mother that loves us the best , our one and only ,amazing generous beautiful mother – EARTH .
Finally, as i transition from one world into the other one more time ( i have done it for many years , moving back and forth from the spacious ‘virginal’ beauty of wild nature in Canada to the urban life in the middle east ) , i feel my old film from 25 years ago – ” Lilith and the Tree “ tells the essence of my In-Sights in the way of a visual-musical poem that still speaks to me today .
ART SAVES LIVES.