Friday, October 18, 2013

Virtual Reality can’t Touch us or Taint us. Or can it?

"A Joyful Heart" 9 x 12 pastel on Bristol
Public Broadcasting recently aired a delightful British Comedy called “Last Tango in Halifax.” I enjoyed the feature immensely. The story revolved around an older couple who met, fell in love, and planned to be married. The catch? They each had their own complex past, their own children and spouses and grandchildren each with their own unique problems, quirks, differences, and weaknesses.

What impressed me at stories' end was that Halifax was a lonely and harsh environment that isolated people from each other. The characters, in spite of all their flaws, were lovable, sometimes desperate, and always unpredictable yet supportive of each other, at least in the beginning.

I wept along with the characters. I felt their pain and their weakness as they bungled their lives simply by being human. As a person of faith, I couldn’t help wondering if the absence of faith was a character flaw and the reason for their downfall. They struggled against life without any spiritual structure or foundation to guide them or hold them together.

"Tansy's Pride" 9 x 12 pastel on Bristol
And yet they survived. In the end, they even triumphed as they overcame their shallow self absorbed inclinations to reach out and embrace those they loved. Rising above their petty and sometimes jarring differences, they brought their bouquets of forgiveness to the simple table that life had dealt them.

What matters most in life usually triumphs, if we let it. We can rise above the cheap and tawdry leavings of this clumsy imperfect existence and replace our shallowness with humility, hard fought forgiveness, and hope.

People in the end are worth the effort. There is dignity and hidden gold even in the worst of us, and surely in the best of us. Pure evil does exist, but at what point is the soul condemned or the door closed? The eleventh hour? The twelfth?

"Broken" 11 x 14 mixed media SOLD
What binds us is our humanity; our need for love and companionship. This alone is the Godly part of our nature and must be nurtured and acted upon if humanity is to survive. Without it, we will incinerate ourselves in a global frenzy.

Keep the candle burning, friends. If the light of love and goodness goes out, our world will be very dark, indeed.

"With these Hands -- Hope"  16 x 20 mixed media on canvas