words and art by w a l t e r w s m i t h

Art and Place an Antidote for Violence

Lilies on the Lake 2011 Remix for the post Art and Place an Antidote for Violence

On Saturday January 8th 2011 an act of violence erupted that may well change the political landscape and its discourse. I am of course talking about the shooting, killing and wounding of numerous individuals as they participated in a town hall meeting with Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. The congresswoman, a centrist Democrat, was also critically injured in this senseless attack. A very sad day for America and my condolences go out to the families and friends. What does this act say about our society as we must press forward, while enveloped in a sphere of indifference, ignorance and hatred? What should a nation as a collective and a nation of individuals do? How do we respond? And will we demand that our politicians (the right in particular) stop putting their heads in the sand as they minimize and discredit the obvious i.e. that the shootings were politically motivated while fueled by an incoherent and troubled mind.

My suggestion today (and there should be many from all of us) is the focusing of the mind, seeing things as they really are, taking time to find ART and PLACE, and finding in the quiet centered mind, the antidote for violence. “Lilies on the Lake” and “The Lake in Quiet Meditation” are two pieces I created with the purpose of finding the quiet centered mind in the beauty of ART and the ambient sense of PLACE. There is stillness in nature and in the nature of the mind. We must actively pursue this solitude to increase our awareness of ourselves and the world around us. And in doing we step one moment closer to enhancing our world, creating love, not hate, and finding peace through compassion.

The Lake in Quiet Meditation, 2005 for the post Art and Place an Antidote for Violence

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