And like any artist with no an art form, she became dangerous. –Toni Morrison, 1974
I’ve been thinking about posting “inspirational quotations” on a regular basis, maybe weekly. This will do two things for me:
- I get a day when I don’t have to decide what to write about, and
- I get to reap the wisdom of others.
I’ve accumulated a few books of famous quotations over the years but never quite got around to cracking them open. The two in front of me right now are “Women Know Everything!” and “African American Wisdom.” The quote above is from the latter.
Thinking about the context of this quote, it was at a time when women and people of color were systematically denied a voice and left without an art form. It was a time when women and people of color stood up and made their voices heard. They gave form to their art and sent it out into the world.
Trying to squelch that freedom only triggers the artist to fight harder, becoming more dangerous to “the powers that be.” Read Audre Lorde.
Other impressions from the quote: Art is imperative to life. Artistic expression is like opening to let God flow through you, however you believe (or don’t believe) that Spirit works. This quote reminded me that when I am neglecting having any creative outlet (be it sewing or painting or writing or whatever), then I endanger myself.
She mentions an art “form”, as art gives form to whatever it is that lies outside of consciousness, outside space and time. By forming my creative expression into words, or swaths of color, in that act I touch the infinite Spirit. Namaste.