Thursday Thoughts: Art and Its Unexpected Power

Thursday Thoughts: Art and Its Unexpected Power

Whenever I tweet out an observation, I’m always amused at what thoughts garner the most attention. I can offer up every witty or insightful theory I can muster and all I hear are crickets but then I’ll post a particular song lyric or movie reference, and it is as if the #twitterverse awakens and comes alive!¬† Last weekend, I experienced it firsthand.

 

I saw #RobertRedford was trending and set out to take a look. I had to make sure the handsome movie star was okay since usually a name trending can spell bad news. It wasn’t this time thankfully. He was celebrating a birthday, and as I scanned the various accolades and well wishes about this talented and beautiful fella, I found one particular tweet that included an animated gif of Barbara Streisand’s fingers wiping aside blonde locks out of his eyes near the finale of THE WAY WE WERE, one of my all-time favorite films.

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Well, not only was I immediately smitten at the gorgeous close-up of this movie idol but here was a film and a scene in particular that had a hold on me since I was a little girl. It was a film that I would frequently return to every decade as I grew up and eventually became a pining away twentysomething, thirtysomething and now fortysomething (at least for another 8 months or so).

 

For this reason, I felt compelled to say something. SOMETHING.

 

So I retweeted the original tweet, and added some thoughts of my own.

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Within 10 minutes, dozens of people from a variety of places, people I didn’t know at all, were sharing how the film had impacted them , almost entirely women, and I realized this is one of those art works that has the power to unite an audience who might think differently, vote differently, date or marry differently… and they might argue, slam, console and theorize about those other subjects all night long and never come to an agreement. But plunk them down in front of a film with two charismatic actors, a score and song to die for, and chemistry to light up the sky like Fourth of July — and you have the power to make those disagreeing peeps forget all about those other things.

 

I wonder if there is some way art can be used to bring together this country. We say it happen at times, when a certain book or book series comes along, when a country gets in front of their TVs for some monumental event, when a song or album skyrockets up the charts because everybody of every age group is singing its breakout song.

 

In a land where people agree on few things and cannot even agree to disagree without turning to slurs, bullying, blocking and other negative-fueled responses, I was encouraged the other day to see a bunch of women come together over this piece of art. The last time that happened to me was during a discussion about Judy Blume and her impact on women of all ages throughout many decades of discovering her books, particularly¬†Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.

 

When have you experienced that kind of rush, where in a conversation in person or publicly online, you were reminded of the power of a compelling work of art? Please share. I’d love to hear from you. And as always, thanks for reading. ~ Chris K.

 

 

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