Is There Art in Suffering?

The subject of suffering has been covered by artists, writers, singers, and poets since the beginning of time. The suffering I’m talking about is the basis of masterpiece, the breaker of hearts, and the mover of souls. I believe there is art in suffering, but it’s not the duty of the artist to merely say “look at this suffering”…I think it is equally the co-duty of an artist to help end suffering. To be genuine and truthful in one’s art, I believe the artist should have a meaningful experience in which they closely examine that particular ethos. The suffering of others is more graspable, more deconstructible and more serviceable than our own. As an artist I’m developing a growing hunger for “the transformative experience”. Ironically enough, I wasn’t prone to these overt desires to help others in my community until I (ta da!) left Catholicism. Maybe Jesus Christ, Ghandi, or St. Vincent will analogously tear out of me in an altruistic flurry of chaos – like the chestburster in Aliens – but in a good way. Call it the existential anxiety of a heretical believer, but whether or not these experiences reflect in my own art, the fact is that I’m getting anxious to partake in meaningful encounters that will benefit the less fortunate. As I view the world through the eyes I have now, I think a louder understanding of what matters begins to ring in my ears. Ecclesiastes 1:18 states it well: “For in much wisdom is much grief; and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.”

I recently took a step toward quelling this (oxymoronic) “selfish need” and I’m going to shamelessly plug it here. I signed up for The Greater Chicago Food Depository’s 26th Annual Hunger Walk in Chicago. It takes place on Saturday, June 25th, 2011. The Hunger Walk is an annual 5K (3.2 miles) event to raise funds and awareness for the Food Depository’s work in Cook County and network of 650 agencies (food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters). The Food Depository covers the overhead expenses for the event so all funds raised can be divided amongst the agencies to help supplement their budgets or, in some cases, serve as their entire annual budget. This is the largest one-day anti-hunger event in Chicago that brings together all of Cook County.

My fundraising goal is a modest $275 but since I’m kind of a newbie, I see this as the shallow end of the “doing good” pool where I need to step in rather than dive in. So, if you read this and would like to do me (and the hungry others) a solid favor and donate to this great cause, you can do so here.  And thank you = )

  

Good Cause-Related Resources:

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Suffering-Related Resources:

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