Things Keeping Us Going: Make Art, Not War Edition

As Sick Pilgrim has evolved, there have been lots and lots of discussions, meetings, and plans to move to our own independent website, and use that website to create something broader than what we have been—like a virtual artist collective where we can collaborate, post writing pieces across genres, teach classes, stream performances, share our visual art works. We still have more discussions, meetings, and plans to go before we are ready for our vision to come to fruition.

One particularly difficult day, recently, though, a bunch of us realized that we cannot wait to have all our ducks in a row to start creating–and sharing–beautiful things. The world needs art RIGHT NOW. We need poetry and stories and music and dance and paintings and sculpture and theater…

We need to fill our spaces with so much beauty that it pushes the ugly out.

So, we made the decision to move forward with the new Sick Pilgrim website launch, with some new content,  even if we do not have everything we dream of yet. Last week, Father Stephanos Pedrano launched his weekly blog with an Ash Wednesday post. Tomorrow, you will meet Holly Mohr and Theresa Weiler, through their weekly blog “The Brood.” You may already have come to know Michelle Arnold and Irim Sarwar through their weekly “Dark Devotionals” where they reflect on scripture readings.

We have reserved Mondays for “Things Keeping Us Going. ” In the past, this series has been treated almost flippantly, as if finding encouragement and delight in ordinary things was not actually a most sacred of acts.

With the whole world holding their breath and hoping against hope for the end to the shelling of Ukraine,  there has never been an more important time to share such sacred delights.   Small kindnesses between strangers, bouquets of sunflowers popping up on tables around the world, choirs singing Ukrainian hymns and anthems give us all just enough to go one more step, and then maybe another.

For the past 11 days, since the war began, I have been turning to music to soothe my troubled soul. Recordings of  YoYo Ma and James Taylor and Joshua Bell performing with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood have brought moments of calm. An impulsive trip to Boston to see Ladysmith Black Mambazo  perform live yesterday was uplifting and encouraging in surprising ways. And this Bill Withers’ tune  has been the responsorial psalm I’ve sung on repeat for days now.  

What small bits of beauty have you come across these past few weeks? Share with us at our Facebook page

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