Why Artists Are Important

Waiting for my mother to finish her work day, I took a stroll around downtown Cleveland.

Looking up.

And around.

In between the people rushing to bus stops.

Past the suits with a soft gaze.

Landing on wads of bubble gum and empty beer cans.

Homeless men with rusty feet.

And I wondered when we stopped caring.

About details.  About aesthetics.  About building something that doesn’t just last.

But brings beauty to our lives.

Remember the Taj Mahal?  The Patheon?

Every temple, church, and quaint little salon?

Even the indigenous yurts that were built to decay?

Something got left behind when we traded it for a society of McDonalds and Burger Kings.

Strip malls, quick service gas stations, cookie cutter housing developments.

In Arizona, I’ve even seen them build whole structures in one day out of styrofoam
pretending it is stucco.

When did we start stripping our Souls and calling it progress.

Building  boxes instead of homes.

Little coffins with windows.

Prisons with porches.

When did we abandon the neighborhood for perfect outside cubicles?

This is why Artists are so important.

Why we were born to paint and sculpt and fill the space with dance.
To think bigger, better, wider, brighter.

To remind us about what we are forgetting.

To bring beauty to the perimeters
that keep shrinking around us.

To awaken our hearts with possibility,

That things don’t have to be this way.

For once,
Our past is proof of that.

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