On Freedom and Beauty

July 5, 2009


Throughout the day yesterday, Independence Day, I had these words bouncing around in my head:

Beauty, then, ought to be understood as the beauty of liberation or freedom from impediment.

___ Soetsu Yanagi in The Unknown Craftsman

For an artist this is a powerful and significant thought.  Only when one can surrender to the work, be totally present to it, and silence the voices in one’s head – our own voice and those of others (both real and imagined) – is one able to arrive at one’s real work.  Easier said than done.  But there are moments and glimpses… and, hopefully, with practice and experience these will come more often.  Certainly when one encounters beauty in art, one can sense the freedom and honesty with which the piece was made;  the freedom from impediment is recognizable!

As life and art mirror each other, these thoughts floated through a quiet day of independence mingling with musings on what it means to live in the U.S. and enjoy the freedoms that are protected for us here.   Generally, I don’t believe we fully appreciate the freedom we have in this country; we are so accustomed to it.  We allow ourselves to be distracted and immobilized by what is wrong or imperfect, and we are frequently misdirected by our huge American ego and sense of entitlement.  Imagine if we could each live in that place of appreciating our freedom graciously and with gratitude, a place where imagined and self-imposed impediments fall away so that we can live fully in the freedom that we already have.  Imagine how rich our individual and collective lives might be!  As in art, so in life: imagination is the  first step towards reality.


One Response to “On Freedom and Beauty”

  1. Beth B Jasper Says:

    Lovely post, Sarah. Nice way to start my morning. Just visited your blog for first time. I will make it a reglular visit from now on. Love seeing the assemblages too. Nice nice work. Beth

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