Sunday, January 25, 2009

rumination #2

Dear Thesis,

I've been thinking a lot about that woman I see in the window washing her dishes, and wondering why it's so important for me to feel like I have something in common with her. Lately I wonder if it has to do with the way I was raised in the church, because my dad was a pastor. Religion tends to bring people of all kinds together, people who wouldn't normally associate with each other. Their shared faith automatically creates a common ground on which relationships are formed and entire communities are built. And what's beautiful about religion is that, in its most simple form, it is the belief in humanity. It is the acknowledgement of a very basic commonality - that we are all human. Obviously it gets complicated after that, with the belief in superhuman beings that have power over nature and human fortunes. But at the very beginning it's like someone said, "Hey, I'm human." And other people said, "Yeah, I'm human too." The problems arose when, instead of putting faith in themselves and in each other, people chose to doubt human nature, and underestimate our collective strength. I guess it's because we haven't yet figured out a way to avoid death. How can you truly believe in a thing that will not last forever? But what does?

I guess it's my secret hope for art to be like religion, for it to focus on our commonalities and bring people together, but without judgement. Art is the shared faith in humanity, the acknowledgment and acceptance of every conceivable aspect of human nature. Can't this faith be a foundation on which relationships are formed, between artists and non-artists alike? This is what I'm attempting to do every time I create - I am adding another stone to that foundation, along with other artists, adding their own stones, in hopes that this common ground will grow so large that it can support all of humanity.

Yours truly,

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