“Beauty is a life saving plank in the midst of the ocean.” —St. Augustine, De Musica
“Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” —Rumi
We live in ugly times. That is, if you listen to the political rhetoric of the 2016 US presidential election. Most particularly, I refer to that ugly cluster of racism, Islamophobia, misogamy, and xenophobia, i.e., the Trump campaign. Like a medieval ball-and-chain flail with deadly spikes, this psychic weapon is whipped about carelessly by Donald Trump and his followers, threatening to rend the colorful and delicate tapestry that makes up our American culture—the creation of our ever-evolving sense of social justice stitched together through 240 years of blood, sweat, and tears.
Who can save us from this peril of ugliness? What can repair the torn places in the fabric of our society and restore a sense of justice? I want to propose that beauty itself can save us. Beauty can heal our society. Beauty is an antidote to the contagion of Trumpism.
But isn’t beauty—the whole realm of the aesthetic—just a tangential quality of life, one best left to poets and philosophers, hardly relevant to the real world? And how can it save us from Donald Trump? Isn’t that asking just a little too much? Click here to read the entire post 🙂