I’m usually not given to waxing poetically about the emotional connection I have with the arts; I tend to be much more introspective about those sentiments and like to focus objectively on the nitty-gritty details and facts, which I conveniently attribute it to my ESTJ-sensibilities (Thank you, Myers-Briggs).
There are occasions, though, when I break my own rules, and right now is one of them.
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been exposed to the poetry of Chinese scholar Aku Wuwu, along with an intensely emotional reading by the poet himself; I have enjoyed the bawdy tunes of a Ukelele Lunch Group while I studied at school on Friday afternoon; I delighted in the comic book art exhibit at my campus’s art museum; I participated in a procession as part of a Day of the Dead celebration organized by a local peace organization; I engaged in lively discussion about art education policy research over drinks and fondue at a darling local restaurant in a restored historic house; I even created multimedia art by designing a video for the first time in iMovie. On top of it all, I got to attend a presentation by an Americans for the Arts staff person, participate in an exciting Creative Conversation organized by my department’s very own student group, ELAN; and volunteer at two international music events where I listened to musicians play Serbian and Scottish bagpipes, Native American pow-wow drums, and an instrument from Zimbabwe, which I’m sure is rare to find all together in one room.
Art and culture–I study and explore these sectors, these concepts on a theoretical level and on a very practical level on a daily basis. I am immersed in a passion for research, for writing, for deconstructing, and working for the arts and for museums. The experiences of the past few weeks offered me a perfect reminder, a thrilling little nudge that I need to occasionally abandon my rational side and embrace the emotional, the tugging-on-the-heart-strings moments in life when I see a painting I can’t tear my eyes away from or am transformed by the reading of a poem in a language I don’t understand. Because these things are what propelled me to pursue a career, an education in the arts in the first place. These moments are what have shaped the person I am today and why I am where I am right now. What moments have you experienced lately that have influenced and transformed you in such a way?
(Photo credits: Sarah Brothers…fellow AAD’er)