I just finished dinner with a great friend. And throughout the evening’s myriad list of discussion topics, we reminisced on our time at Yad Vashem in Israel.DSC00947

I was thinking about this earlier today on a smaller level, that when life gets overwhelming and even when it seems a bit pointless, the best thing to do is to surround oneself with art to rejuvenate the soul and begin to believe again.

Emerging artists, in particular, have a dichotomy, a contradiction between the near-hopeless, “Will I make it?” as an artist and the “My art saves me,” hope of every day life that truly keeps us striving.

This is what I was thinking about as I headed to dinner, and, without my saying a word about it, one of the things my friend reminded me about tonight was of our time at the holocaust museum, Yad Vashem, “the place of names and remembrance” where we saw level upon level of heartbreak.

“But remember the art,” he said, the art that became the reason for existence; the smuggled sketch, the wood carving, the poetry, the diary entries. These things were a matter of life, of life! They captured life stories, they chronicled and described day-to-day struggles, they were grasps at beauty and the comfort of memories in a dark world.

Art is the finding of beauty in the every day, and it serves as the doorkeeper to belief: in oneself, in a higher cause, in everything that’s better than the circumstances taken alone. When in times of trial and in times of darkness, look to art. Go to a museum, read poetry, Google paintings if you must, but find art and immerse yourself in it.

It will recharge a battery within that has been lacking. And life will look better when you emerge again, of that I’m sure.

My first book, Upside Down Kingdom, is available on Amazon.