Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Art and the Inauguration

This blog is not now nor ever will become a political platform. Yet, after watching the inauguration, I find I cannot let it go by without comment. Fear not, though, I shan’t stray far from the avowed subject of this blog.

I was struck while watching the inauguration by many things, but one thing in particular related to this blog’s topic: art.

It occurred to me that the ancient Greeks, from whom we derived the idea of democracy, might have looked with approval upon the inauguration.

The words were about change, about technology, and about moving forward into a new world. But they were delivered through ritual and celebrated with arts as ancient as memory. In a brief period, we heard the recitation of poetry, the presentation of a new instrumental composition by top-performing artists, the power of oratory, the lifting of voices in song—both solo and choral, and heard prayers lifted to the divine. This evening the event will be celebrated with more music and dancing.

Art is not dead—nor will it ever be so long as human beings have a soul. Art is the way that we express the divine in us. Without it, we have no language for hope, for peace, for dreams.

An education infused with the liberal arts is not a waste of time—it is a necessary part of a healthy soul. It is what allows us to talk to each other, to learn from the past, to be inspired, and to dream.

Art tells our stories and puts words to our dreams. It always has and neither the passage of years nor the changes in technology will alter that. 


Tony Caselli said...

Well said, Bridgette!

Ron Redman said...

This inauguration may finally have put to rest the aphorism "talk is cheap". $170mm would have relieved a lot of suffering. Camelot came and went a long time ago.

Words there were, but nothing more. The Greeks, I think would have preferred a bit more substance. Romans would have appreciated the amount of bread spent on the circus.

Bridgette Redman said...

Thank you, Tony.

Music was there, poetry was there, oratory was there--art was there. See, Ron, I was trying to be good and stay away from making a political statement (which can be tough for me!) and sticking with the art side of it. :)

Last year, I was reminded of the Roman bread handouts and ventured a somewhat political comment in my blog: