Healing: Our lives

The Book of Life. This metal sculpture by David Kracov, is a tribute to the life of Rabbi Yossi Raichik, director of the Chabad’s Children of Chernobyl organization. Each of the hand-painted butterflies represents the 2547 children that escaped Chernobyl’s nuclear disaster and (with the help of Rabbi Raichik) were given a new life. http://www.davidkracov.com 

A few years back, I bought a box of Christmas cards and was so moved by the spiritual beauty of the image (and talent of the artist who painted the original) that I went on a search to find her. She didn’t have a website but I found her home phone number. I was hesitant to call (not wanting to invade her privacy), but the thought that I had to tell her how moving her work was, kept coming up. The day that I finally dialed her number, my hands were a little sweaty, and the thought that she would not be happy with my calling her at home, was poking at my brain. After all, my reasoning mind was saying, “Why would she care what I thought?, and she might be more put off by my forward behaviour, than pleased by the call.”

But the feeling that I needed to contact her persisted, so I went ahead and dialed. It happened that she was home, and as I explained to her the reason for my call, she thanked me profusely and told me that she had been doubting if “just doing her artwork” was really contributing to the well-being of this world, and had been questioning whether artwork was needed in the way that food and shelter were. As we hung up, she told me that my call was the encouragement that she needed.

I know that I’ve questioned whether just living my life well, and doing what makes my heart sing, is enough too. I used to think that I had to live a very sparse life, doing volunteer work 24/7 or “giving to the poor” as the only legitimate ways to feel like a spiritual person, but I’ve changed. Giving from a heart that is full of love, creating beauty, doing whatever it is that fills us with life (whether that be working as Mother Theresa did, or creating healing work like the sculptor David Kracov) makes our world a better place.

We are so much more than just bodies just trying to stay alive. We need spiritual food in the form of laughter, smiles and beauty (of all shapes and forms) to remind us of the larger dimension of ourselves. My life, your life, is a walking, talking and breathing work of art that can uplift the world. This weekend, it is my intention to remember this.

“Be who you are, and be that well“. St. Frances de Sales

Reflections, The sculpture that David Kracov created after 9-11

16 thoughts on “Healing: Our lives”

  1. wow. what amazing artwork! and a great post as well. thank you for reminding me why i do what i do! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours Mary.

  2. This all just blew me away. Awesome tears of love and involvement with Spirit from this. Thank you, Mary, once again.

  3. Oh Mary, how in the world do you find such visually beautiful images and turn them into such wonderful meaningful messages to share with us? The artist’s work is striking and the explanation brings tears to my eyes. I could understand why you were hesitant to call the other artist whose work moved you so, yet, artists work in such isolated ways that this is the only way, when people ‘read’ our visual message with their hearts and minds, it is a gift back to the artist to be able to convey this. You did the right thing and no doubt inspired the artist even more than she had inspired you. Your message is timely as always, thank you again and again for the gift of this website,
    SandyP in a very frosty Ontario, Canada

  4. Dear Mary. Such a tender, meaningful post. This really touched my heart….As an artist and author…representing animal communication and the wisdom of inter-species relationships, I have struggled with the concept that helping one animal at a time is not as ‘right’ as helping hundreds. There was a time when I didn’t think my work was worthy of success unless it’s affect was huge….quantity vs. quality. I have come to accept that each day, those who I DO touch is what makes the difference. The concentration of my love and light on those who perhaps need it the most is what I am here to do….what my soul yearns for me to be. Thank you for the beautiful art (incredible!) and your powerful words of wisdom.

  5. Dear Mary, As a self taught artist for all of my 64 years, I still struggle with the thought that what I do is “enough” for the world. I raised 4 children and am actively involved with my grandchildren, but my art has always been the driving force inside of me. If I was better at marketing and selling my work perhaps the fact that I was making great sums of money would make it feel more validating. I simply knew from the time I was a small child that I was meant to paint. It seems strange that I would still struggle with the thought that maybe it’s not enough. Thanks so much for sharing these powerful words. I know how much it means to me when someone tells me that my paintings have made a difference in their lives.

  6. This post left me in goosebumps, Mary, for the beautiful message you offered, and for the gorgeous artwork. The butterfly – such a symbol of transformation and resurrection. Holly, how interesting that you knew as a small child that you had to paint! Such a gift had to be opened – and shared. We are so much the richer for the gifts of our spirits – what wonderful things our hands do. And voices, and smiles! Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

  7. I am totally invested in the notion that my small, contented life is a gift to the universe. If I can create an oasis, however small, whether in thought, intent or deed, that is enough. And so often, “just enough is plenty”, to quote a book that I read with my kids! I am satisfied to be part of the chorus of hearts that are singing.

  8. Maud, your comments gave me great comfort because part of my mission has always been to create an oasis wherever I have lived. My daughter struggles with her role as a mother never feeling like she is “enough.” Could you share what book it was that you read to your kids with the wonderful quote “just enough is plenty” ?

  9. Those are very beautiful sculptures. You have an inspiring blog and it always makes me try harder to be more spiritual and to make a difference in this world.
    Thank you Mary.
    Have a Blessed Thanksgiving.

  10. Hello Mary,

    Allow me to take this opportunity to tell you how your inspriational writings leaves me feeling so much better ! You are truly an amazing writer capturing the very essence of the moment. I sooo enjoy your this blog you have going as well as the sweetest pictures!
    Thank you for bringing this to us……

  11. Oh Mary what a beautiful sculpture, it also gave me goosebumps. Wouldn’t it be grand if we could see all the talent this flock has to bring to the whole of us.

  12. As ever: timely, beautiful, memorable Mary wisdom. Thank you.

    If those butterflies all had inner monologues telling them they weren’t good enough~ wouldn’t we explain the joy they brought to us, describe the glorious message they conveyed? Can we do the same for ourselves? Love to all the Flock.

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