The following article was recently published in Psychologica Magazine’s special edition on Trauma. I’ve included a link to the full magazine, lots of great articles on trauma treatments, both from a clinical perspective as well as personal. Hope you might find something that resonates.
Tag Archives: expressive art therapy
Tags: art, art therapy, artists on tumblr, Arts, attention, birds, collage, creative art therapy, creativity, creativity development, dreams, dreams and art, expressive art therapy, Facebook, focus, illustration, image, inspiration, learning, mental-health, mindfulness, narrative, nature, outdoors, painter, painting, self help, spirituality, trauma, trees, visual art, wellness
silent spaces…pause between words…shaping time…making art.
There is the sudden silence of the crowd
above a player not moving on the field,
and the silence of the orchid.
The silence of the falling vase
before it strikes the ﬂoor,
the silence of the belt when it is not striking the child.
The stillness of the cup and the water in it,
the silence of the moon
and the quiet of the day far from the roar of the sun.
The silence when I hold you to my chest,
the silence of the window above us,
and the silence when you rise and turn away.
And there is the silence of this morning
which I have broken with my pen,
a silence that had piled up all night
like snow falling in the darkness of the house—
the silence before I wrote a word
and the poorer silence now.
I stayed suspended and green
between sun and geography –
I saw how wings worked,
how perfumes are transmitted
by feathery telegraph,
and from above I saw the path,
the springs and the roof tiles,
the fishermen at their trades,
the trousers of the foam;
I saw it all from my green sky.
I had no more alphabet
than the swallows in their courses,
the tiny, shining water
of the small bird on fire
which dances out of the pollen.
by Pablo Neruda, from Fully Empowered, 1962
translated from the Spanish by Alastair Reid
is usually far removed
from the cycles and forces
of the natural world
and it can often seem empty
of any real purpose.
The ash is a key to healing the loneliness
of the human spirit
out of touch
with its origins
it can provide a sense of being grounded
and of belonging.
The ash reminded the Celts of the interlinking
of the Three Cycles of Being.
Likewise we are encouraged to consider
the role of the past in creating the present,
so that we can better appreciate
the many ways
in which positive thought and action today
can help to create a brighter tomorrow.
Through a constant process
of balancing and marrying opposites,
we, like the ash,
can achieve harmony
from The Wisdom of Trees by Jane Gifford
John F. Kennedy’s quote resonates deeply, reflecting the capacity of the Arts to shape collective human experience at the macro and micro levels. Simply put, we shape and are shaped by the life stories we create in our dreams, art and words. So where does Truth fit into the equation? What is the relationship between Truth and Art?
In attempting to answer to this question, Professor/author Stephen Levine, refers to the work philosopher Martin Heidegger. Levine writes that for Heidegger truth was a form of unconcealment
Truth as unconcealment, in Heidegger’s thinking, is contained already in the etymology of the Greek word for truth, ‘alethia‘. Lethe, the river of death and forgetfulness, designates the darkness and mystery in which Being dwells. To allow something to emerge from concealment, a-lethia, means to become aware of the background from which things emerge (Levine, p. 27, Foundations of Expressive Arts Therapy).
According to Levine, this means that “Truth happens: it is not a timeless realm to which we must aspire: rather , it occurs within history and is given to us as our destiny.” We do not create Truth, we do not will truth into existence. The same goes for Art. As a manifestation of Truth “art has the capacity to give meaning and direction to human existance”. Art is the place where we come home to ourselves, where things appear as what they are, and where what we value emerges.
Posted in Creativity
Tags: art, artists on tumblr, collage, creative art therapy, creativity development, education, expressive art therapy, Facebook, Google+, Greek, Greek language, Heidegger, illustration, John F. Kennedy, Martin Heidegger, mental-health, painter, painting, Philosophy, Stephen Levine, Steven Levine, submit, Truth, Twitter, visual art