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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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Early Childhood for Adults: Ways Back to Creativity, Beauty, and Possibly Healing


by Sean Kernan

(The original presentation had people up on their feet and doing some exercises, the point of which was to give them a renewed experience of the creative state and suggest ways of getting to it. This article attempts to bring the presentation into words, though it does in fact require a little doing.)

“Can you join us in presenting a workshop for a group of women with cancer?” The question came from a doctor friend, Matt Budd. I certainly didn’t have a ready answer.

Matt had taken a workshop in creative photography with me, and now he was asking me to bring my approach into a workshop for women with serious forms of cancer. The workshop was about healing, and it would take the women to the F. Holland Day Foundation, a beautiful building on the wild coast of Maine, give them a week away to let them step outside their overwhelming illnesses and experience themselves as something other than patients. They’d have hours of quiet, daily yoga, wonderful food, rest, and a series of exercises designed to help them work with their circumstances.

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