Why This? Why You? Why Now? Three simple questions we are often reluctant to answer.*
How can we not see what our eyes behold? As our perceptions become more and more coordinated, we grow in justice.**
(M. C. Richards)
We are possibly looking at months, rather than weeks, of lockdown in our response to Covid19.
This could be one of the severest interruptions to life as normal on planet Earth in peacetime, or it could be the greatest unimagined and uninvited opportunity to change things for the better.
Drawn from her experience of the potter’s wheel, with its four movements -up-down and in-out, M. C. Richards suggests four ways towards a more centred life to benefit everyone: the via positiva is the way of perception, the via negativa is the way of acceptance, the via creativa is the way of imagination and the via tranformativa is the way of justice – for the planet and all of its species.
The artist-of-the-future will be the person who is able to increasingly centre their life through all of these ways pursued as one, helpfully pictured in the labyrinth which, whilst taking many directions on its way to the centre, is only one path:
But a labyrinth is actually an arrangement of paths that lead you, in time, to their centre. You can’t get lost in them; they are comprised of only now winding corridor. It slows you down, that’s all.^
We cannot accept without perceiving, cannot imagine without accepting, cannot transform without imagining.
So we slow down.