Sunday, September 25, 2011

Yeah, What If?

I spotted this mural and quote on the wall of Beatnik Bob's inside the City Museum in St. Louis yesterday afternoon:

So, yeah, Rollo May (an existential psychologist of the twentieth century, by the way), what if imagination and art aren't merely the frosting on the cake of modern life?

You know, we'd still be talking about cake, dessert, optional extras besides the necessities of food and shelter. However, if we could allow ourselves think of imagination and art as "the fountainhead of human experience" without equivocation, then wouldn't the quality of our lives change for the better?

If we could allow ourselves to think of imagination and art as essential parts of emotional, intellectual, and spiritual growth, then instead of spending time explaining and rationalizing creativity, we could dive right in to the middle of the refreshing pool of art. If everyone could agree to agree those qualities are important for growth and general well-being of society, then we could spend less time arguing about the "why's" of budget cuts and more time figuring out reasonable solutions. After all, people eating is more important than people clapping for a performance... but acknowledging the arts do have an essential role in our life would go a long way toward healing a rift between the arts and the realities.

If we could all agree imagination and art are integral parts of learning, then all teachers would be encouraged to incorporate skills into as many subjects and problem-solving sessions as possible. How many times has imagination created a solution where we previously thought there was none? How many times have art and math entwined to create amazing landscapes and tools? Wouldn't it be great if we could all encourage our inner daVinci without fear of retribution for wasting time and resources fooling around with imagination?

Wouldn't it be great if we could all encourage one another to imagine, to create, to appreciate... and to do so without having anyone say we were ignoring the importance of realities like eating, working, and finding shelter for our families?


Maggie said...

I just love this notion and agree wholeheartedly. I've been happy the last few days and couldn't figure it out until I read your post. I've taking up painting again. Not all of it is worth showing and there has been a lot of problem solving going on. My soul is filled with contentment. This is what makes me an artist.

angelinabeadalina said...

Congrats on starting to paint again, Maggie! I'm sure your work benefits from your eye for color that you've been developing even more while making beads, choosing fabrics for bags, creating with yarn, etc... gotta be beautiful!