Today, while pinning up my hair after a warm shower, I was struck by the luxuriousness of this quiet, simple activity while Ukrainian women, children, and men sleep in the subways, in freezing cold underground garages, or in the cement bunkers ironically built by Russia in the 1980s—waiting for the next explosion, the next air raid, their next sip of water.
Once again, the near normalcy of my American life, even under covid, creates a striking contrast to people living day to day with the ravages of war, or hunger, or under repressive regimes. And, like many, I struggle with this.
It’s not a debilitating struggle. It’s not even oppressive. Which makes the struggle itself seem petty in comparison to those looking for food, not hairpins.
What keeps me sane is believing that, as Teilhard de Chardin said, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
And that our experiences, even the ones appearing most devastating, are all woven into an infinite tapestry of a Divine consciousness continuously unfolding beyond what our human brains are wired to comprehend.
And here is where you, my valiant cohort of artists, comes in. I can’t imagine how I’d hold onto even my sanity of spirit if I didn’t also understand how you, as an artist, change the world.
How the very fabric of what you do gives the rest of us a chance to see, feel, and experience something beyond our ordinary sight.
How you carry the Flag of Creativity in a visible, tangible form inspiring all of humankind to wake up to the truth of its essential, creative spirit.
May you thrive, and be safe, in this extraordinary adventure called “your life, your art.”
And may all of us recognize and honor the remarkable, perilous sacrifice for democracy that Ukrainians are giving the world just when it needs it most.