“When old age shall this generation waste, “Truth is the Light in the dying Eye.”
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe Margaret Koscielny, December 31,2017
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou sayst
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty," – that is all “I am the Way, the Truth and the Light”
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.” Jesus of Nazareth
Ode on a Grecian Urn, May 1819
We currently live in a world struggling against Orwellian “doublespeak,” where truth=lies, and lies=truth. Where the very evidence before our eyes is distorted by words which contradict what we see, causing confusion in the minds of those who do not believe in their own perceptions.
We do not listen, carefully. We do not look in discerning ways, barraged by a plethora of images rushing past with every swipe of the finger. Our restlessness, fueled by a Tsunami of moving pictures of people, places, events: horrors of civil strife, wars, genocides, 5-minute celebrities of hate, sex, violence, political whores, captains of industry and commerce, vulgar gestures. Where can we focus?
The trio of God, Art, and Death provides a Silence which contains the Truth of our lives. When we are still, we can experience Keat’s “beauty and truth” in what we see. Our woe is eternal. But, our Art, too, approaches the eternal. And, there is joy in that.
A gaze can become our salvation: it stills the frantic heart and calms the desperate mind. Art illuminates the darkness in our souls. We focus, and the artist guides us.
These are ways to climb out of the contemporary abyss of political rhetoric. Most of us have been brought up in a moral context, where we were held accountable: where our behaviors were witnessed, discussed, and reprimanded, when necessary. We knew right from wrong, and we grew up believing that Truth was synonymous with Right; and Wrong was always aligned with a Lie.
The Eternal Verities were discerned by Humanity, centuries ago. They form the cornerstones of our Common Civilization. They weren’t “invented.” They simply existed, waiting to be discovered.
Our artists, philosophers and poets continually “re-discover” the Verities, so that in each era, we might be reminded to be careful in our lives, in our actions, and in the words we choose. Truth is at the core. Beauty, her companion.
Choose your words and your images, carefully. Take care with your gestures. Dance on the ground of happiness. Love one another.
©Margaret Koscielny, 2017
Photograph (ca.1942): from Sky (between) Water: 1941-1943 A Portfolio of text and drawings, Margaret Koscielny©2016
The artist stroking the head of her infant cousin, Susanna Hooten, who later died, age 2