The Healing Power of Art

"The healing power of art is no rhetorical fantasy. Fighting to keep language, language became my sanity and my strength. It still is, and I know of no pain that art cannot assuage. For some, music, for some, pictures, for me, primarily, poetry, whether found in poems or in prose, cuts through noise and hurt, opens the wound to clean it, and then gradually teaches it to heal itself. Wounds need to be taught to heal themselves." - Jeanette Winterson

After work, a very mundane and repetitious work to be exact, I often stop by at Kinokuniya KLCC before going home. It is here that I will find myself again. It is here that the world around me will cease to matter. The bookstore becomes my own internal shell to escape and seek refuge and peace. I need not open any of the books to feel the healing power of words hidden within their covers. Art is contagious. Just being in the presence of a great book, whether holding it in our hands or glancing at the author's name, is enough to stir many emotions and bring back long forgotten thoughts. A book is more than just a book. Art is alive. So does the material that an artist used to create his imaginative universe. I often picture the books that I see on the bookshelves as doors leading to another world. This world maybe be different (and it usually is) from the daily life that you and I are familiar with. You may not like it; you may find it too strange, too absurd, too boring, too elitist; nothing to do with me. You want something more close to heart and related to your own personal experience. But as much as art strengthens the self, it also needs to wound us at a deeper level. For art, true art, to conjure its majestic power, we must be ready for our world to be turned upside down. We must learn to let go. And let ourselves be pulled down by words into the depths of our own rejected thoughts.


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