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Sunday, 27 January 2013

Forest Bathing vs Vanity

"I would fund the building of a new hospital before funding the vanity of a Prior" said the Prioress to the Prior when he approached her for help in funding a priory palace.

This is within Ken Follett's "World Without End" novel set at the time of Edward III at the start of the 100 Years War with France. Its a popular TV series at present.

I may upset a few people who read this, but I feel with just cause.

Does art care?

When I go to Sligo I find myself and see the multi million euro arts centre next to a struggling hospital.  Go into the hospital and you will quickly identify that it is understaffed and the place looks a mess, seriously needing paintwork, building maintenance and more useful equipment.

Then go into the arts centre close to there and see a pristine building, but hardly anyone there except some staff looking around for something to do. I find the exhibitions are often macabre and feel its not what people are looking to see and be inspired by.

On one side my reaction is odd as I am passionate about the arts. I believe the arts are so essential for our vision, beliefs, faiths, courage, expression and to keep alive that light of insight within all of us shining bright.

I feel it is so important for us all to be a responsive audience to the arts too..

After that quote by the Prioress, it then came to me,
Perhaps this is the main  point of Bards In The Woods.
All that's in the arts can be set up and shared in the woods quite easily, plus
the woodlands are healers of many things that people are in hospital for
and go to the hospital for healing.

Vanity of Arts and Crafts?

The arts centre I refer to is full of artists' vanity.
It is full of the city's vanity, something they like to show off
- not out of pride but its potential to bring money into the city
and secure the salaries of those who administer the city.

Newgrange is another place that disturbs me.
To me its an artist impression re-construction
all in the cause of vanity, certainly not spirituality.

Big churches and cathedrals, I feel are the same,
calling upon the people to fund their vanity
yet, I am quite two faced with that
as I appreciate the churches as being an incredible canvas
for artists and craftspeople with all those carvings, sculptures, murals,
and in some cases, labyrinths.

Forest Bathing, the Shinrin Yoku, the Boladh na SiĆ³ga
embraces all who enter the woods to share their words, 
their music, their arts and their food at the picnic table.

Bards In The Woods is a place to express and to listen
but not with a one direction vanity as as a co-operative of shared expression.

Co-operative is the right word, more than union, I believe
as it is a co-operations of each other's space in expression and listening
and that becomes an alchemy of sharing, which by itself is good medicine.

Add to that all of the Forest Bathing, the Green Prescription that many people are re-discovering again to enhance and sustain their health and be good medicine for the health challenges many people already have.

Being in the woods and sharing as Bards is not the whole need though.

The woods do need caring and support.
Foresters are present in most of them as they are well on their way towards sustainable profit but planting and care of new woodlands to expand the woodlands of Ireland also demands volunteer help too.

Bards In The Woods is truly for the Arts as a way of sharing, stimulation of senses, protection, restoration, medicine and healing and not for vanity
that eventually separates us from our forever donating audience.

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