An Ode To The Arts


What is art? What about it that makes us go dumb with awe? What about it that stirs up emotion from the inside, that summons laughter and tears by its sheer power of moving people to care about its display? A twist of a hand, the dainty step, the trilling voice, and the bold stroke; the cunning eye and the flashing smile; the tear-stained cheek, and the elongated jaw–the ultimate betrayal of horror; the witty word, the solid stone, the wretched cries, and subtle lines.

What so, about a painting, a poem, an arabesque, a montage, that moves us to care? Why do we empathize, why do we cry? Why does a turn of phrase or look make our bodies convulse with laughter? How a contrasted color stands from muted tones, enraging and shocking those who see it. How a speech, with a voice crisp and clear with determination, like a mountain river, draws tears from all those who hear with their hearts. How the words written with the hope and wonders of the author are raised and holified, and eventually become overseers of the hearts of the people, with descriptions and actions and plot that that halts the breath, that makes us gasp engrossed, that beckons us “come closer” into the light of the scene from the dark all around us.

Then there are the soloists, clad in simple black, as they hold the vessels of expression and open the doors to their minds as beauty flows from the hand onto the tangibility of reality. The myriad colors make a single scene; every little instrument’s song makes a symphony; every graceful turn or step is a ballet in the making; every chapter or stanza is the author’s addition to their narrative psalms and lyrical pamphlets.

Palaces and chapels–all built with petrified song and stony rhythm. Passionately dashing and crashing everything that’s in him. Religion, Enlightenment, Impressionism, Romanticism; here goes a person with a mission. Breaking light with simple prisms. Destroying walls to create; bloodletting our bodies in the altars of Art; willing to suffer, willing to starve, willing to hurt, willing to die. That, my friend, is a revolutionary soul.

The final strain. The encore. The final stroke. We put down our mallets, our bows, our brushes, our souls, and look around. The faces of those we affected look right at us now…. Applause. Take a bow. Say good-bye as the curtain rolls down. What is this sound? What is this feeling? Stirring deep within? For I am one mortal soul, an artisan. I know of something greater than I, living on and on. My purpose, my dreams, my cries; my laughs, my pride, my joy. Oh, I would never be satisfied without.

Oh, never without. You.