I spent some time this morning luxuriating in the Textile Art group at Flickr and came across the work of Jackie, a master embroiderer in the U.K. whose blog is Dogdaisychains. A quick round of emails ensued and she gave me permission to publish one of her photos (click to enlarge and go visit her site for more photos):
Her beautiful work made me think of Hundertwasser, the extraordinary Austrian artist:
I know it may be hard to see the connection from these images alone, but Jackie's organic shapes and vibrant colors and rich shiny materials instantly made me think of Hundertwasser. If you don't know his work, there are quite a few books available, and you should be able to find something in the library. You're in for a treat.
On an entirely separate Internet journey this morning, I was searching for a new copy of a wonderful book on writing that I once owned by Deena Metzger. I found much more than the book on her Web site; she's a medicine woman and a deep and radical thinker with some very interesting texts and talks on healing, something I've been immersed in thinking about and practicing this year. I want to share this quote, from a talk Metzger gave called The Soul of Medicine. It's about beauty, a Slow Cloth quality that I haven't really done justice to. This helps:
"One of the qualities necessarily connected to healing is beauty. The natural world is inherently beautiful. Beauty like love is a fierce power that restores the world. The healer’s power is greatly diminished if it is not associated with beauty."
Quite a few people in my world are also attempting some deep healing right now, of themselves, their relationships, their purpose, and the world we live in. It's not easy. Things do seem to get worse before they get better, and a lot of faith and patience are required. Sometimes I/we aren't sure where beauty fits in, in a world where our notions of beauty are so distorted or devalued. So I like this authoritative declaration that beauty is necessary to healing. It's not frivolous; it does nothing less than restore the world.