You Are an Aperture
When you make something with your hands…it is beautiful.
Monday night at the Transition Town Totnes Artist Network (TTTAN) Creative Salon eve we were inspired by the hand-work, creativity and treading lightly practices of three transition artists: Toby Fairlove with his handmade yurts, Yuli Somme with her felts shrouds/coffins, and film maker Emilio Mula. The conversations that were part of these presentations were deeply touching and thought-provoking. I especially enjoyed the details that Toby brought to the entire sensuous and long slow thoughtful process of building a yurt. I also LOVEDheartfully considering the beauty and inevitability of our deaths and how we can make our funerals and are rites of passage as deeply embedded in community building and transition values as possible. It’s always interesting to see how the paradigm from which we are tranisitioning at the moment’s has a similarly throw away/disposable attitude toward things like birth and death as well as stuff. This whole conversation and approach is about redressing that and taking our rites back into the communities and families and “tribe” that we are and re-humanising the entire process.
We also engaged in dynamic inquiry together with the fine guidance of animator/film maker Emilio Mula. We gathered around the table with drinks and olives exploring what transition values permeate our practices and our lives. We explored what was essential in this for each of us. We looked at how for most all of us the questions were much more important that the “answers” per se and gave much more scope for us as creatives to support transition and effect resourceful resilient change in our communities. Especially interesting was the list that we made at the very end of this to give a word or a phrase describing this essential quality of transition art. It was to the noted that none of these words were so much about “beauty” so much as the manner in which our processes were engaged. This shared value and realisation and clarification had an enlivening and a lightening effect on all of us.
As I write these words, I come across these words from Satish Kumar’s Path Without Destination book which feel completely in synch with the mood of the evening and what we are, as transition artists and beings, exploring and endeavouring to live.
Beauty brings joy. Beauty is the source of bliss. … There is no destination. Beauty is not something that we achieve tomorrow. Beauty is not a distant goal. Or distant achievement. Beauty is the divine walk. When you make something with your hands, with love, with imagination, and with your heart, it is beautiful. But when we make something only to be used, we lose the sense of beauty. That is what our industrial culture is good at: mass-produced goods, mass-produced houses, mass-produced food. Ugliness. Our civilization creates a tremendous amount of ugliness. And when you create ugliness, you also create waste. You drink your tea from polystyrene, and throw it away. It is not beautiful, it is trash. Landfills are filled with this trash. If you create a glass that is beautiful to look at, it is not just drinking, it is an aesthetic experience. An experience of beauty.
-Satish Kumar, Path Without Destination
YES. Beauty is indeed the divine walk.
The next MMMMMoot (Monthly Monday morning moot meeting) will take place at the barrelhouse from 10 to 12 AM in May at the Barrelhouse Cafe in Totnes.
The next TTTAN Creative Salon fundraising evenings will be on Tuesday, September 17 and January 21st from 7:15 for 7:30 start till 10:30 PM. In September, we already have an amazing young acoustic music singing duo not to be missed and other juicy presenters lined up for your inspiration and to expand your imagination around transition in the arts. Please let us know if you’d like to help make this evening even more special by getting in touch with Katheryn or Dylan.
for more information on TTTAN or to join the http://www.transitiontowntotnes.org/groups/arts/