Ahead

Photo from Elizabeth Munro's dear friend Sky’s natural burial in Boduan Wood, Eternal Forest Trust, near Pwllheli in Wales. Birds were singing as she scattered flowers and rosemary on the wicker casket.

“how hollow and futile life can be when it’s founded on a false belief in continuity and permanence.” -Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

We know perfectly well that life is not a permanent state of being. In fact, every moment of this temporary status is fleeting, moving on often before we have the opportunity to glimpse it. While we may convince ourselves of permanence from time to time, deep down we understand that life is anything but. In that impermanence lies the true beauty of our walk through this world, the knowledge that every step brings us closer to the end of this phase, and yet the capacity for great joy despite this awareness.

Elizabeth Munro spoke to us from Wales. At the moment, she is taking a new view of her life, looking at all of the experiences she has had, particularly the recent experience of being with a dying person, witnessing their last breath and arranging for everything that comes after death. At the same time, Munro has been looking at all her work from the past and gaining a new perspective on her life. All of this, of course, is through the lens of the pandemic. Munro has been signing petitions and fighting to lift the patents on the vaccines so that places like India, which is trapped in a catastrophic second wave of disease, can have access to enough immunizations. To hear more about Elizabeth’s reassessment of her life and art, the details of her friend’s passing and how every facet can be viewed as a piece of it, listen to the complete interview.

Rana Tahir spoke to us from Portland, Oregon in late April. She finds reflection on the last year quite strange, particularly at the moment when we spoke as the verdict in the Derek Chauvin case had come out that very day. Almost exactly a year previously, Tahir found herself in the streets fighting for justice following the murder of George Floyd. Tahir is a poet, artist and educator, as well as a Kundiman Fellow. To hear more about her work, her influences, including the war in Kuwait from which her parents fled, as well as live readings of her work, listen to the complete interview.

A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:

Embrace the brevity of existence and revel in every fleeting moment.

Interviews are available on iTunes as podcasts, and for Android please click here. All weekly essay pieces in a shareable format are here. The full archive of interviews here.

Books to Read

What are you reading? Add your titles to our reading list here. Elizabeth Munro is reading The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche. Rana Tahir is reading If God is a Virus by Seema Yasmin.

Deadlines:

Artists are among the list of creatives invited by KÖR – Kunst im öffentlichen Raum, to submit their work to an open call titled The Weather of Tomorrow. Work should investigate this topic in terms of how climate change stands to affect not only the physical climate, but the social as well. For more information, visit the website. Deadline for submissions is May 15.

 

Brainard Carey is an author, artist and educator. He is the director of Praxis Center for Aesthetics. He has written six books for artists; Making it in the Art World, New Markets for Artists, The Art World Demystified, Fund Your Dreams Like a Creative Genius, Sell Online Like a Creative Genius, and Succeed with Social Media Like a Creative Genius. His forthcoming book, Making it in the Art World, is available for pre-order with bonus content here.

 

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