Friday, 2 January 2015

A loving heart can handle the world

It's 2015 and, just like the start of 2014 and 2013, I've promised myself I will try and write, rather than just think. I spend plenty of time in my head, processing things I've read, seen or discussed and trying to make sense of it all. So, I'm going to start 2015 as I hope to continue, by writing stuff down and sharing it. For the last year, I've been keeping an online photo journal, which has been a really nice experience.  It's lovely to look back on and has hopefully given me the discipline I need to blog more often. 

It's at   

In November of last year, I spent a wonderful three weeks with my daughter, visiting relatives in Adelaide, South Australia.  On our way home to Glasgow, we stopped in Dubai for a few days.  I can't remember the last time I was so interested in somewhere - it was so different from anywhere I'd ever been and I was fascinated.  Fascinated by the architecture, the size of the place, how people behaved and how beautiful and interesting it all was.  
Following a visit to the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, we visited a traditional soukh, where I happened upon a few lovely little galleries.  I was drawn to the Islamic art and to one artist in particular.  The Iraqi artist and calligrapher, Wissam Shawkat, had much of his work exhibited.  It was wonderful to look at and I found myself reading about him and his influences. He has produced a beautiful series, Letters of Love, where he explored words about love and loving feelings - all created in his refined, contemporary calligraphic style. I bought a few pieces - of which the above picture is one.  

He has read and interpreted words of love from many other sources, including Khalil Gibran and Beethoven - whose words are the title of my post. It seems Beethoven was as talented a composer of words as he was of music.  We are all influenced by the outside and how we interpret it becomes part of our story.  And if we share that story with others, it becomes our contribution to the world of art.  

Art makes me stop and look.  And the looking turns into thinking.  I find it a multi-layered experience and one which I treasure.  Art helps me to make sense of the world and my world within it.  And for that I am truly thankful.  I look forward to many more journeys into the world of art this year. 

A loving heart can handle the world - thank you Wissam Shawkat and thank you Beethoven for your inspiration.  This will be one of my mantras for 2015.

all you need is love

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