One Blue World

Please enjoy the art work and reflection sent by my dear friend Anne Camozzi this month.  Anne Camozzi is an artist & author from Nova Scotia, Canada. www.annecamozzi.com

This is an edited version of a blog she wrote for Kairos Canada’s Spirited Reflections Series. For full version https://www.kairoscanada.org/spirited-reflection-one-blue-world-art-healing,

 Mary

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One Blue World

 One Blue World – Art & Healing By Anne Camozzi

The image, of my painting, One Blue World (2004), was painted as a prayer for water.  The 2003 Iraq war was in the news as I started painting.  I couldn’t reconcile the wonder Nature evoked in me, with acts of war, especially considering we’re just a tiny blue dot in a huge universe, where geo-political boundaries disappear.  As I painted, I thought about water, knowing we can live about a month without food, but only a week without water.  And, though about 71% of Earth is water, 97% is salty or frozen, leaving very little to meet our needs.  And of what’s left, we often waste, poison or manipulate it.

But that’s not what I wanted to paint; I wanted to explore the reverence and gratitude I felt, trying as poet Rilke wrote, to let Creator energy, “flow through me like a river.”  And as I painted, a story emerged.  The many blues of water, a sacred spiral shell, people dancing, birds, butterflies, dragonflies, swirling around them.  It’s a small act, one painting, but a creative act, for I believe it’s creativity that’s needed for healing.

This year the Earth Day website stated there’s a need to educate the citizenry in the concepts of climate change and “its unprecedented threat to our planet.”  I believe we have a role to play to advance literate environmental citizens, be it water, climate change, or other issues.  But even the website gets it wrong, for it’s human life that’s our greatest concern.  Unless a meteorite explodes Earth, or we lose sun energy, our planet will survive; it’s humans and other species in peril.

Today, instead of a more environmentally literate society, there’s confusion and many feel disempowered, overwhelmed and cynical.  It’s not surprising when words like threat and doom are commonly used.  “Eco-anxiety”, a term to describe excessive anxious thoughts, has spawned eco-therapists.  While I support people getting help, eco-anxiety could be avoided if messaging offered opportunities for creative expression and concrete action.  This is where art becomes important, promoting actions to heal and protect our home; this tiny blue dot we live on.

“Art” can be visual arts, dance, music, theater, stories, gardens, hospitality, scientific inquiry, whatever action make your heart sing.  Creativity is tapping into the joy that springs from your innermost self, from the Creator in all of us.  One reason creativity works is that personal healing often happens when we tap into this creative center.  Perhaps the approach of our First Nations neighbors, who use cultural and artistic traditions to promote healing can help guide our efforts.

We can’t wish for the younger generation, or anyone, to have the capacity to act if we overpower them with “threats”.  Let’s ensure environmental education embraces arts, harnesses creativity and explores passion, play, awe, and reverence.