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Making Sense

Beauty, Creativity, and Healing

Edited By Bandy Lee, Nancy Olson and Thomas Duffy

Regardless of field, from the art world to healthcare delivery, there is a growing need for practically useful theory and theoretically informed practice. The time is ripe for a collaborative, creative conversation among thinkers and doers who are concerned about the larger world and our role in it. Making Sense: Beauty, Creativity, and Healing is a collection of essays and creative expressions written and produced in relation to a colloquium that tried to address these matters at the Whitney Humanities Center of Yale University. Beginning with a powerful essay on the individually and globally therapeutic qualities of art and beauty by Elaine Scarry of Harvard University, this volume brings together a diversity of theoretically minded scholars, scientists, artists, and healers. In the form of critical and reflective essays, alongside images, poetry, and fiction, this book allows the reader to experience the bursts of ideas and sensory triggers that respond to and extend the artistic installations and performances of the colloquium – and welcomes the reader into the conversation.
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From the Battlefield


by Kofi George

Running through the old worn out streets, the loud sounds of people resonate in my path as I form a new trail with my moving feet. Not a straightforward one, but one that gets the job done, nonetheless. It is a while since I last stopped—days, months, and years—perhaps. Who keeps track of something so meaningless such as time spent when I am going towards something safer? Loud explosions deafen my ears as I try to avoid their material form and smoke clouds grow larger. The presence of grey concrete and outmoded buildings flow through my eyes as I retire my guard by slipping into an abandoned alley to take a shallow breath. An unknown destination that has become my home, strange people who have become my family members, and a never-ending landscape that has become as small as the lines on my palms. It is the way I have developed over the years that these images always reoccur in the depths of my brain. I have never seen myself as a hero, the Superman or Batman of the world. Life is far from perfection assumed in those characters in heroic form. I am the rebel. The one who must take risks to survive in the environment I find myself currently.

I never feel comfortable telling my story—too dangerous. Maybe it is because I have always been afraid of what I would say about what I have gone...

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