Wednesday, July 3, 2013

It's all true

What I love about this image is that the scale of it is just subtle enough to awaken the viewer's imagination.  Is this a rocky point, with huge cliffs arresting an algae-stained sea? Are there people, or cars, or picnic tables huddled on the sandy beach below? Or is this just a piece of driftwood, catching the afternoon tide as it rolls back out to sea?

I like the mystery of that -- but then I always seem to appreciate a bit of mystery: I prefer things to be slightly less than obvious, and like it when there's room for interpretation. Which is why I love abstract art.  Not all abstract art, but the kind that invites me in, that suggests a story.

This also explains why, unlike some of my more rule-based classmates in library school, I loved it when we were told "there's no right way to catalog a book; the important thing is to know your readers and give it cards and numbers that will make it easy for them to find."  It meant we were at liberty to imagine a better way; a world that worked, and accommodated individual preferences.

Which, I suspect, is what makes it easy for me to be a person of faith.  Because faith -- believing that we are each of us loved and cared for, that bad stuff usually makes way for new good stuff, that we are somehow connected to and rooted in all creation  (all of which would be lovely) -- well, it really doesn't make a lot of rational sense. You can't nail it down.  Someone can always find "proof" that none of that could possibly be true. 

But it seems to me that faith is like a smile: if you use your muscles to emulate it long enough, you'll begin to feel it, even feel your mood become more positive.  So I don't really need it to be a fact; don't need to know the answers.  But I like living as if it's all true -- and I love imagining a better, kinder world where compassion -- not money, or facts, or power -- would be the most important thing.

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