I am not an artist, or at least not a visual artist. I cannot paint well. I do not sculpt. I enjoy working with words, and have occasionally attempted to put them together in the art of poetry, but I would not say I have created “art.” I am not an artist, yet I have continued to nurture a deepening appreciation for art. At its best, art enlarges our capacity for experience. It deepens our capabilities for richness of experience.
This summer I had wonderful opportunities to view great art in New York. Here I want to share a few of the pieces I viewed interspersed with quotes that speak to me of the essential value of art for life.
“A moment of beauty makes us quiver through and through, reverberates through our being, touches foundations, an experience that ripples through sensation, feeling, thinking, action, ethics.” Michael Eigen, Contact With the Depths, 8
“Curiosity, and awe, a respect for complexity, the disposition to identify empathically, the valuing of subjectivity and affect, an appreciation of attachment, and a capacity for faith are worth cherishing.” Nancy McWilliams, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 45
“The intrinsic value of human life lies in the capacity for feeling and in the experience itself…. To maximize the richness of experience is to maximize the quality of human life” Charles Birch and John Cobb, The Liberation of Life, 168, 173
With Faith and With Feathers,