Friday, December 30, 2005

looking back

Scanning the blogs, it seems like the thing to do right now is come up with some sort of top ten list for the year. I've only been here (as a blogger) since June, and my memory isn't very good, so not sure I'll be able to be that organized. I may come up with a randomized list of things I liked, lame as that would be.

Anyway, snagged from Eyeteeth, Paul Schmelzer wrote in February on Divinity for the Reality-Based Community. Since this subject most likely won't go away any time soon, it's still relevant.
Art, it seems, allows us to ponder the sacred in non-dogmatic terms --i.e. divinity for the reality-based community. Of course now is not the heyday for that bunch. But perhaps there's hope in what theologian Finley Eversole called a "spiritual underground." For him the term referred to a complex notion that artists who confront the emptiness of a godless world-- writing in 1963, he was thinking of Rothko, Pollock, and de Kooning--connect us to the holy by presenting its inverse: "If our artists have been incapable of religious faith, they have at least shown us that modern man is incapable of unfaith." But I suggest that artists make up a spiritual underground in a different sense. While many mainstream religions are being hijacked by rigid fundamentalists, contemporary artists make up a loose-knit band of the covertly spiritual. If artists of the "secular mystery" can create work that resists co-optation by religious and political ideologues, perhaps we can call on them in more enlightened times to reacquaint us with the joys of asking questions we don't yet have the answers for.
Spirituality and art has been something of an ongoing theme in this blog so far, oddly enough, so I appreciated Paul's entry. I haven't put enough thought into the subject to be very coherent about it. Maybe next year!

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