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Art is Captured Light

I found this quote in liturgical prayer book—a quote I used in my new book. Here it is:

“We pray to break the bonds that keep us from the world of beauty…we pray to walk in a garden of purpose in touch with the power of the world.”

Beauty—being in touch with it, noticing it, digging for it and representing it in our work—that’s the work of creativity, the work of the artist. And not just “beauty” in its gorgeous form, but beauty in its full representation of what it is to be alive. That means all of it: our joy, our elation, our frailty, our darkness, and our falling apart experiences.

When I think about what we do as artists, the words “captured light” come to me…meaning, as creative people we reflect back to our fellow humans a certain kind of reverence that’s not usually practiced in the workaday world. Art asks of us to go deeper—to see what’s behind this lush and crazy and fulfilling and upsetting life experience we’re in; to pause long enough to feel the exquisite nature of being alive right now.

We, as artists, capture the light of being alive whenever we create.

That’s a high, high calling.

As Dostoevsky said, “Beauty will save the world.” And each one of us who, through our art, get to be a part of that saving, blesses the world. We bring reverence to our own life and to everyone who witnesses what we birth in our art.

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