Making peace with art

Red lotus in Joseph L Alioto Piazza, 28th stand for peace, May 26, 2012
Red lotus in Joseph L Alioto Piazza, 28th stand for peace, May 26, 2012

28th stand

Stepping onto Joseph L. Alioto Piazza today, we are delighted to see the giant lotus sculpture still on display, gracefully waving in the breeze.

Constantly throughout our hour, across from San Francisco City Hall, I turn to gaze upon the flowing petals. My breath, already gentle, slows even more, coming in long exhales and inhales.

I give gratitude for the other grandmother next to me, Sharon, whose idea it was, all those months ago, to stand for peace one hour a week.

Without her desire and belief that such a stand could create meaningful change, I would not have had the courage to begin. How much I would have missed!

I give gratitude too for the Korean artist Choi Jeong Hwa, who built this ever-changing, ever-the-same bright red lotus.

Hwa kept faith with his passion to create art. He never let discouragement or self doubt stop him from sharing his unique perspective and talent with the rest of us. What courage that takes for some of us! Surely for him as well.

I give gratitude for all those who take time from their busy lives to build something beautiful, whether it be a poem, a story, a colorful painting, or an aria.

Especially today, I give gratitude for and take heart in the words of Choi Jeong-Hwa: “I believe that everything is art. Every material found in the kitchen, your room, the streets — everything in everyday life can be art.”

His words give me courage to begin this web site after months of thinking about it, and to finish another art project I started years ago.

Loving our ideas and our talents, giving them expression in the best ways we know how, is one way we make peace in the world. Or should I say, many ways? If you have a desire to create something, I encourage you to honor it, whatever it is. Make. Do. Share.

Text and image © L Kathryn Grace – All rights reserved

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