Sunday, January 11, 2015

Paris -- the city of light -- post updated

Paris -- the City of Light. The city of love and romance. These qualities have strength for these challenging days. (Updates/ New Links at end of this post)

The tragic events in Paris continue to unfold. For our artist friends in the city .. in France .. and across the world --- your courage is inspiring. For anyone who thought that cartoons and drawing don't matter, we've all learned just how much they do. Art, creativity and self-expression have always come with an element of risk. These activities have a history riddled with danger, and even death. We've been shockingly reminded of this. The internet is brimming with images full of the raw emotion of these days ...

  New Yorker cover art by Ana Juan.

Paris has a reputation for illumination -- from its leading role in the Age of Enlightenment, to its early adoption of electric street lights. 

Paris sunrise photo by designer Christian Siriano.

The stark contrast of the Eiffel Tower, known for its charm and twinkling lights, gone dark resonates across the world because images transcend language and culture. When we can't read the signs, we find our way with landmarks...

Art and hope are not here to be hijacked by selfish interests, despair and ignorance. Art celebrates our connection with each other. You don't have to speak a foreign language or know a different culture to "get" an image from their art. We have faith in the potential to understand each other with pictures.

Paris street photo by Benjamin Millepied
Let's take a lesson from responses to the California earthquakes --- first, there's "damage assessment", where we begin to repair the architecture around us. The longer recovery is the emotional and physical impact.. along with our sense of safety and well-being. Regaining our sense of self takes patience.. along with easy-to-overlook, but vital components like rest, good nutrition and exercise. 

 Paris at sunset photo below by author Pam Houston..

How do we get better?? The best artists draw every day. It takes that level of commitment to improve -- doing something every day, especially on the days when it all seems too hard and nothing seems to be going right. Let all the images of pencils in response to these events also remind us that every day starts as a blank page. What will we write on it?

Here are some links about the events that have been making the rounds with my artist friends:

OP-ED Posts (links added 1/18/15) --

Perspective on events from Paris resident, American born writer Heather Stimmler-Hall, from her blog "the Secrets of Paris" (link added 1/21/15)

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