Art is meant to explore all the unattractive inner realities as well as to recommend glittering ideals. It is not meant to provide uplift or confirm people’s prior ideological assumptions. Art says “Think,” not “You’re right.” — Maureen Dowd
The Caterpillar and Alice looked at each other for some time in silence: at last the Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth, and addressed her in a languid, sleepy voice.
“Who are you?” said the Caterpillar.
This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, “I – I hardly know, sir, just at present – at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.”
— Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
(You do follow The Literary Man, don’t you? You simply must! The Literary Man is a community of readers, writers, bourbon drinkers, and ne’er-do-wells interested in books, literary ladies, and the ever-slippery Hipster-Literary-Bro continuum.)
“Syncronicity is: I was reading your blog the other evening when I was in Rome, and a few hours later, I decided to take a walk thru the streets (actually it was the wee hours of the morning) and I found this…”
— Paul Corbit Brown, May 14, 2013
Paul Corbit Brown has been photographing since he was twelve years old. His work has carried him throughout the United States, Mexico, Jamaica, Russia, Israel, Palestine, Kurdistan (Northern Iraq), Kenya, Rwanda, Laos, Thailand, Indonesia, and most recently Haiti. Brown has a gift for simultaneously accepting the humanity of each person he depicts and unsentimentally sizing them up. His photographs are clear-eyed looks at the difficult situations the individuals portrayed live in, but because of their directness and compassion they are hauntingly beautiful.
My daughter and I made a treasure box yesterday from an old cardboard shipping container and some glittery “jewels,” marker, glue, and paint. It was all going as expected until she leaned back, tapped her chin and said very matter-of-factly:
There needs to be a god.
This is a child who doesn’t talk much about The Divine in traditional terms, so when I heard her articulate this instinct she had my full attention.
I believe that children are closer to truth and mystery than are we adults. We’ve had it all beaten right out of us, but those little ones…poets say children are still wet with Heaven. Whenever children want to talk about life, death, and the spirit I focus on their words. It’s always fascinating.
That’s interesting, sweetie. Why do you think there needs to be a god?
Because this is a land. Every land needs a god.
I like the god you’re making. Tell me about it.
It has a caterpillar body made of jewels, but it needs a face. Momma, will you draw a smile and eyes. No head, just put the smile and eyes in front.
I see this god is over the land. I like that.
It needs wings. Can you please add two wings.
Sure thing, baby.
So there you have it, friends. Every land needs a god. My child’s creation smiles over her land, sans a head that would house a mind as we know it. It shines and watches.
This is the day that her heart has made. I rejoice and am glad in it.
To quote the Facebook friend who passed this along, “Got a case of the Mondays? Not no more you don’t!”
Start your week with this beautiful rendition of River of Jordan, and watch the magic happen. (Don’t miss the gentle and reverent looks between David and Jessica Lea Mayfield, that’s part of the magic.)