Recently a challenge was directed my way. The challenge was to write about something that matters to me, and what I would like others to do about it. I was stymied. There are so many gigantic problems in the world that it’s overwhelming to think about the things that truly matter. You know what I mean; save the environment, stop hatred and bigotry, let’s stop wars and killing, feed the hungry, cloth and house the poor. The problems are enormous.
When I am faced with a challenge, I slow down, and give a listen to the still small voice inside myself. That voice became louder and louder. The thing that is important to me is that I have a strong believe that we are all connected. We are connected to the land that nurtures us, and we are connected to one another. Our differences may seem huge, but most of us can find common ground if we slow down and look for it.
As an artist who specializes in landscapes, I have become aware that my work provides a haven of peace for anyone taking a look. The underlying story is that by making landscapes, I am tapping into the common ground that is important to us all. Without nature’s bounty, we would not survive. Without helping one another, we would likely not survive either. It is important to me that people understand that we are all connected by a common thread of survival. Our ecosystems, our social systems, and our economic systems are interconnected.
So, do I ask that we take care of the environment, and work on other large-scale problems? Of course, I would love that. But an easier request to consider is this: Just for today, see how good you feel if you perform an act of kindness to a stranger or a friend because you feel connected by your humanity. When I do exactly that, I feel a connection to my fellow human beings, and to the universe. Hopefully, that small act will help start a healing process so that those bigger problems can be addressed more easily. If nothing else, that act will make the world a gentler place.