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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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A Day Before Painting


by Frank O’Cain

The mumbles play their song in all the places that bring together any life any attempt to find one’s thought will be fed the countless murmurs that come when many move their mouths into endless streams of sound in a continual need to keep silence at bay. Sitting at a table, the mind merged in the writer’s story at the very edge of the environment they have brought to the conscious mind, just at that soft motion of time and place where thought was about to happen and stop all depth, all questions, all intimacy.

The day won by the chatter and the day full of needed decisions brings the book to a close and a sigh of resignation. “No escape.” All the places left for the mind to investigate were still there waiting and needing to be seen, observed, recorded.

The energy level now helped move the body from the domain of coffee and continual murmur to the cool wind of the gray day and the need to belong to the moment. If only for a second the reality would spin down and make the focus bring into the mind the information that would allow a beginning to force not only questions but to look at the whole rather than that emotional tie that kept all the actions of positive force to propel life into a joy and away from anger at everything that came and delivered differences...

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