July 4 I was walking through The Mission in San Francisco, admiring the street murals. We turned the corner to head up to Dolores Park, It was a beautiful day and there were at least 1,000 people gathered there to dance and party together. On 18th Street, there in front of us was El Edificio de Mujeres, The Women’s Building and it took my breath away – the picture above is an inadequate shot of the front, capturing only a fragment of the beautiful art that adorned the structure. It is called the MaestraPeace Mural.
The Women’s Building is a women-led non-profit arts and education community center, which advocates self-determination, gender equality, and social justice. The mural is a heart stopper. As I walked around taking pictures of each portion of the sprawling artwork I was deeply moved by the images. They capture the majesty and beauty of women. I experienced a kind of archetypal resonance, which sounds much more cerebral than what I experienced. What welled up inside me was a visceral response, an inner feeling of the sacred nature of womanhood. Each image made me both want to cry and celebrate. It is transformational art.
Of course, I stayed for awhile taking pictures and just taking it all it in. Around me people bustled, each giving me space as if acknowledging my epiphany. I felt restored. Some part of my soul had been reclaimed. To this day I have a new and profound appreciation for the healing power of art, which came from that experience.
What beauty restores your soul?
“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.”
– Pablo Picasso