An Artist and A Feminist


This Young Woman Walked Through Kabul Wearing Metal Armor To Protest Street Harassment

Artist-activist Kubra Khademi took to Kabul’s streets in a metal jacket in a defiant protest against sexual harassment.

Khalil Gibran


Khalil Gibran is a writer many of us found in the seventies. He developed almost a cult following. He was born near the Holy Cedars of Lebanon. He and his family moved to America. He went to schools in Boston. The family sent him back to Lebanon to go to college. He later also attended college in Paris. He was a painter and a writer.

 

He wrote of Mother Earth and carried the torch of freedom that sprinkled through his writings. He felt everyone should be free.

 ” I love you, my Brother, wherever you are, whether you kneel in your church, worship in your synagogue or pray in your mosque.”

 

“Are you troubled by the many faiths that Mankind professes? Are you lost in the valley of conflicting beliefs? Do you think that the freedom of heresy is less burdensome than the yoke of submission, and the livery of dissent safer than  the stronghold of acquiescence? If such be the case, then make Beauty your religion, and worship her as your godhead; for she is the visible, manifest and perfect handiwork of God.”

 

” They deem me mad because I will not sell my days for gold; and I deem them mad because they think my days have a price.”

“The truly great man is he who would master no one, and who would be mastered by none. ”

“A bigot is a stone-deaf orator.”

” An exaggeration is a truth that has lost its temper.”

“Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need.”

 

 

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Khalil Gibran

Khalil Gibran

 

 

Khalil Gibran's heart

An Interpretation of Khalil Gibran’s heart by Anita Krizzan

 

 

A Gibran verse

A Gibran verse

 

 

One of Khalil Gibran's books. My favorite.

One of Khalil Gibran’s books. My favorite.

 

Wisdom of Gibran

Wisdom of Gibran

The Ordinary Truth


What one determined woman can accomplish

What one determined woman can accomplish

Rosa Parks was right. We need to each live our lives to the best of their ability. Actually, there are ordinary truths and eloquent truths. The ordinary truth is that some artists can earn six figures for their work. Most of us can’t make that money with our creative endeavors. The eloquent truth is that this harsh fact does not mean you can’t live a authentic life.

Our creativity is a gnawing within us. There is something within that wants to come out. The really bad times is when it is scratching at you to get out and you are blocked. The ordinary truth is that you will make mistakes and not be able to produce what is alive and well within. We all fall short sometimes.

The eloquent truth is that this need not defeat you. Artists must never give up. You were given a gift and while you may not be Monet, you have a gift that must be expressed. What others say or don’t say about this doesn’t matter. The important thing is to use what The One gives to you. It is a part of you and it is a large piece of what makes you authentic. Being real not being or doing what others tell you, but being loyal to yourself. This is authenticity. As we reckon with our existence, we become more real, more authentic.

Love is real

Love is real

Another part of being authentic is loving yourself, loving the gift you have been given, refusing to think of it as a burden. And the hardest part is to not compare yourself to others. We are brought up to be competitive and that is not the way of the creative soul.

To live an authentic life is a challenge as well as a gift. And it is also a spiritual practice. Not in the sense that you are attending a church, synagogue, or temple. But in that you allow your talent and your spirit to meet and create. Art is a practical skill, a relational skill, it is gripping and consuming. It is genius and shines like a starry night.

It is also confusing, confounding, tedious, exhausting and frightening.

“The dream is always running ahead. To catch up, to live for a moment in unison with it, that is the miracle” —Anais Nin

We have freedom to create, to write, to sing, to paint, to draw. The challenge is to use it. Use all of it as long as you are still drawing breath. As long as we can draw breath, we can create meaning in this world. I have often thought about all of the artists who receive no credit for their work while they are alive. It is as if the work is insignificant. Then when they die, people are sad and they miss this creative being. They open their eyes because of the hole left because that person is not there any longer. They open their eyes and see, really see what has been there in front of them for so long. They declare it beautiful, stimulating, moving, heart stopping. That creative person can’t hear the compliments but they flow through the air like invisible rose petals on a breeze. And then the truth becomes eloquent. This person had a beautiful talent. I didn’t realize. I am speechless, but your creations are not speechless and will speak for you always. And someone will come along and they will see or hear your work and it will give them the courage to pick up their gift and dust it off. And they will speak with authenticity because you did.

Being creative is not easy. We are different from so many others, our lives are not always easy but you leave a shimmer, a glow in this old world. You create and it makes the world sparkle. So get out there and shimmer and shine.

Sculpture garden in Windsor, Ontario. Photograph taken and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 1997

Sculpture garden in Windsor, Ontario. Photograph taken and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 1997