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How the Creative Arts Validate Our Existence


I've always appreciated the arts and believe they add greatly to our existence. Strike that-rather, I believe that they validate our very being. From music to literature, to painting and photography, it is the creative works that make life so much more bearable. I gave this idea some consideration when a friend from Wales was showing me photographs he'd been taking over the last few days. They were candid shots, most taken in between the times the lot of us were attending two days of wakes followed by the funeral for the father of three very close friends. As I looked at one photograph after the next, I realized that without those pictures the moment quite likely would have been lost in the sadness and blur of events. How wonderful that someone was inspired and talented enough to record the images for future reference. Then, once most of the mourners went their separate way, a few of us regrouped for Labor Day where there was food, laughter, more photography, and music.

Ah, yes, music does tend to create a soundtrack for our lives. Sometimes I'll hear a song that had been released long ago and a rush of fond memories bring me back during a time that I thought had been ordinary. But that is why we must appreciate those who are inspired to shine some attention on who we are as a people here at home and across the globe, instead of taking for granted the various outlets for expression. Many people enjoy movies and novels, but then walk out of the theater or close the book and not realize they'd been given an opportunity to take a better look at themselves and those around them.

Maybe I'm feeling maudlin because a family friend was buried on Saturday or maybe it's because it's September and autumn is quickly approaching when it seemed summer just began, reminding me once again that my existence is just a blip in time. Oftentimes I forget to live in the present, which in turn means unintentionally ignoring those moments that seem to carry little weight-until later when I look back and my senses have been enlivened whether it is by a photo, song or some other validation of my existence.