Dostoyevsky wrote that it is beauty that will save the world. I think that is true, especially if we remember that beauty draws us into love and belly laughs. Let us be radical in our loving and tender in our laughter. Let us share our glimpses of beauty with one another in ways that will en-courage each of us. We all need courage to bring our glimpses of beauty to the world.
I like to remember that the root of the word courage means heart. So to have courage, literally means that we are being full-hearted. Art; our expression of the glimpses we have of beauty in the world, be they tender or terrible; awakens our hearts and makes us courageous.
The Orlando project I started days after the shooting. I had made a resolve to myself, that in response to the ugly, disturbing, and discouraging events that we are now hearing of weekly, if not daily, I was going to try, to the best of my ability, to respond with something that transmitted beauty, hope, and connection (love). The 49 doves carry the colors of the rainbow, with the words courage and full heart on each. But, I think most importantly, each dove is carved on the other side with the name of each victim that was shot. Just like the beautiful Vietnam War memorial, I have the doves displayed where people can read and touch the names. I do believe that art can do much to encourage one another so that we can be a formidable force of courage and full heart.
The doves are currently on display at Ascension Lutheran Church, 1236 S. Layton Blvd (27th St for those of you not familiar with the near southside.)