Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Wonder and Compassion

Art begins with a deep sense of curiosity, of searching.
Experiencing wonder and awe open my heart and propel me to create—sometimes through text, other times through rendering or color or photography, sometimes by simply breaking into song. It is a physical sensation for me that builds and builds, a pressure on the heart until finally I can release it like a bird into the air.
This morning I read Seth Godin's blog and I'd like to share a section here. He wrote simply on Wonder and anger:
Great innovations, powerful interactions and real art are often produced by someone in a state of wonder. Looking around with stars in your eyes and amazement at the tools that are available to you can inspire generosity and creativity and connection.
In a related universe, I had just viewed Krista Tippett's TED talk on compassion. Compassion and generosity are not very far removed.
Tippet provides a rich emotional definition for the word compassion. Looking through the lens of creating art, it struck me as the cord of creation. Key points, compassion:
  • is seeing beauty in other
  • brings us into mystery
  • changes what we think is doable
  • seeks physicality
  • is not a solution but is unleashed in wider circles by signs & stories
  • carried by the power of stories.
Tippet goes on to speak of storytelling. She says that stories allow us to survive, flourish & change. Her description of tikkun olam is lovely. Though I'm not borne of this religious tradition, having never heard this story before, it somehow strikes in me a universal cord that resonates as a long held personal truth. This story alone excites my sense of wonder, of the visual, of the possible.

Here's the full Krista Tippett TEDTalk:

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