“Art imitates life,” people say. Recently, I saw art holding up a mirror to life, and the mirror reflected much more than I can usually see with the unaided eye.
At the movies we saw a preview about a boy who draws a monster. The monster comes to life and frightens the bullies tormenting the boy. In our main feature, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a sad, desperate, and powerless person inadvertently turned frustration into a powerful external force that destroyed buildings and killed people. This force manifested as a storm of destructive particles.
At home, we watched Star Trek Beyond, where the huge, fancy Starship Enterprise is taken down by a swarm of tiny spaceships, under the command of an unhappy former Starfleet officer.
The two takeaways for me were: desperation can turn into a deadly force; lots of tiny things can take down a big thing. These two phenomena are happening in our world’s population right now.
Which brings me quite naturally, I think you will agree, to my latest wall hanging, A Worthy Accomplishment.
Our United States culture worships enormity. Large corporations, huge wealth and fame, amazing feats of technology are admired and given special treatment. In contrast, regular people who do regular thing, like raising children, cleaning, cooking, going to work every day and other essential but not very exciting or profitable things, are treated as insignificant.
It’s fine to admire amazing things, and we should also value and admire everyday work and achievement. We need to acknowledge the contribution of people who take care of all the everyday things in this country, because they are the foundation on which our society is built.
I’d also like to bring to your attention the contribution of many thousands of women (mostly) who took the time to crochet a doily to beautify their homes, or a pretty trim to make a pillowcase or coverlet more inviting.
Many of these creators would say, “Oh that’s nothing, really. It’s just something I made.”
I say, “It is something, precisely because you made it.” It is something handmade, with love or curiosity and certainly with skill. It is something to be proud of, something beautiful, something worthy.