For many years I counted myself among those who reject the notion of art as a potential source of healing. I saw both the practice and the appreciation of art as a largely formal and intellectual exercise: a game of the mind, a game capable of infinite richness, perhaps, but nonetheless a game. And I will confess that, privately, I would judge those who saw it otherwise as a lesser species, lacking my superior intellectual resources.
How wrong I was! Perhaps it’s the advance in age that has weakened the brain, but I now find myself increasingly disinterested in art that is not in some way able to help me feel more fully human; and if that’s not healing, I don’t know what is. “Don’t turn away,” the great 13th century Sufi poet Mowlana Jalaluddin Rumi wrote. “Keep your eyes on the bandaged place. That’s where the light enters you.”
The rest of this beautiful, thought-provoking essay can be found here: