Hope in Chaos
How sad for us to lose this gift, yet how glad I am for this hopeful quote:
This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.
I know the world is bruised and bleeding, and though it is important not to ignore its pain, it is also critical to refuse to succumb to its malevolence. Like failure, chaos contains information that can lead to knowledge—even wisdom. Like art.
Toni Morrison Essay in The Nation No Place for Self-Pity; No Room for Fear
In times of dread, artists must never choose to remain silent.
I love that hopeful line:
Like failure, chaos contains information that can lead to knowledge—even wisdom. Like art.
In this chaos is history in the making and history repeating. In this chaos are the struggles by those who have always been in struggle, but those struggles are now exemplified by this chaos. In this chaos we see that struggle, and we must support the liberation from that struggle. The information is in front of us. What will we do?
We must continue to speak, to write, to “do language” for justice in the world for all people. In the chaos — chaos intentionally created by the President of the United States who delights in our struggle with this, who bombards us with inhumane vilifications and policies, lies daily supported by others who condone and support him, and who sides with other dictators,— in this chaos we will speak and write and do language; we will create and make for “liberty and justice for all,” an American value.
I was lifted by the hope within this quote: that there is an answer within the hateful chaos in the United States now: we have not “succumbed to its malevolence,” but continue the struggle along side of our fellow Americans. We continue the struggle of the American experience– living our Constitution.
Hope and Art
And the makers, the creators, the artists of the world play a part in that support. I believe the hope is there in the Constitution and Bill of Rights: create art in support of our vision for America.
It’s important to create art that brings us together because that is the hope of America: our diversity, our search for liberty and justice for all, our struggle for a more perfect union.
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Constitution Day is September 17, 2019: Let’s create art in support of our struggles, and especially the struggles of those we all now know have shouldered discrimination as the chaos of our current times bring forth their stories.
And search the Teaching Tolerance website for lessons and resources, including books to support diversity and liberty.
Let’s come together with the power of language and art- that will be the measure of our lives and our hope:
We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.
Toni Morrison– Nobel Prize for Literature Acceptance Lecture 12.7.93
What will you create and support?
a field walk, a feldgang, for hope in the chaos