Art, community, Relationships, spirit, Take Action

Creative Sanctuary

Woodruff Girl Skipping Rope
Hale Woodruff (1900-1980), “Untitled (Girl Skipping Rope)” (c. 1959-60)
Photo: Joyner/Giuffrida Collection

When you open the news, do you find yourself tensing up? Or feel a pull to retreat to some warm, gentle space to catch your breath? Maybe it all would be more manageable if you could just get a hug. Or give one. Or a thousand of them.

This hunger for warmth has to be something more than a simple need for comfort. Yes, we need that too, especially when we carry real trauma. But it seems this urge to connect and catch breath has to do with knowing what’s at stake. We feel something turning. We sense what is roiling under there, the fury and sorrow and maybe even some kind of power that’s awakening under the surface. Something terrible, something very big.

We feel it moving and we know it might boil over. If we unleash it, we’re asking for trouble. It could get us fired. Or arrested. Or killed. We see what happens when it spills out, especially when it’s unformed, especially if we’re part of any group that didn’t make the rules.

But that shouldn’t scare us.

Except that also it should. Because it’s real, the backlash when such power is unleashed.

So yes, the terrible, beautiful unfurling thing will scare us. But we can’t let it stop us. We have to let it rise.

We can find and fashion places of creative sanctuary. Not so we can hide from the world. The opposite. Creative sanctuary invites us to come come together to help each other channel what is roiling in us. Let it find the shape its called to take. Craft it. Connect our power and our art and our rage and our heartbreak together with what is stirring in others.

We get to design these spaces of collective vitality. In them, what is true and surging among us and within us can awaken. We can weave together these webs of witness and action. In them, we turn the volume down on the lunacy around us and give voice to a vision of rebirth, of beloved community. We will invite other in to help us build these incubators. In them, we imagine into being the kind of relationships, courage, collective action, and cultivation of interconnection that the world needs.

We can build homes where you and I and others like us can catch our breath. In them,  up from the raw earth, we can grow our art.

And every place where art take shape, that is a place of liberation.


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