Artwork and sustainable agriculture are the two threads of my professional life. They mingle fruitfully beneath the surface as I sift through remaining evidence of ancient worlds, trying to sense how people of lost cultures met basic survival needs and also how they responded to the very human hunger for beauty, meaning, and story.
In revisiting the remnants with empathy and wonder, scavenging for resonant clues and forks in the road that we didn’t take, some subtle but significant things continually resurface. For one, various ancient Greek writers (males, e.g., Plato, Strabo, Euripides) noted that it is “the women” who keep things sacred and maintain spiritually oriented rituals; that without the impetus of women, men would not bother to honor the sacred in everyday life, carrying on without much concern beyond themselves.
Humans may very well need ritual for survival. I’d suggest that we are happy, our societies are healthy, and our ecosystems are not overtaxed when we devote our copious attention and creativity to making simple and elaborate rituals around our daily tasks and special events, privately and in community — rather than mining and hoarding vast piles of wealth.
In other words, life feels good, and is more secure, when we are creating much of the meaning and beauty we crave with our imaginations and little else. Following are some of the ways my visually-oriented brain has contemplated that idea.
Still Life With Tattooed Figurine
Small Figure Beholds Aphrodite
First published in Feminism And Religion 18 Oct 2019 https://feminismandreligion.com/2019/10/18/wealth-in-imagination-by-laurie-goodhart/
5 Comments Add yours
Let me know if this gets to you. I like all that you have to say in this recent post and find that your thoughts resonate with me. Your writing has a nice flow.
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Thank you Jill! So happy to hear that you resonate with this. I think focussed rituals of all sorts are very much a part of your very meaningful days, yes? oxo
I feel so fortunate to have stumbled upon this! What a lovely post. It’s a great piece of writing. So happy to have these thoughts to ponder.
Thank you Mary!