Some words go together really well, like “cookies and milk,” or “crackers and cheese.”
Food aside, another fine pairings of words is “peace and quiet.” And while it’s possible to enjoy cookies without the milk, or crackers without the cheese, peace and quiet complement one another in a way that is strongly interwoven, to the point that if you pull on one thread, you unravel and weaken the fabric.
In a place of cacophonous noise — loud voices, thumping “music” beat, dinging phones, and the drone of the TV or radio — it’s difficult to feel at peace. Quiet invites us to slow down physically, and mentally.
In the same way, in an environment of anger, frustration, anxiety, hatred, bitterness, envy, and sarcasm, the heart is not quiet. It agitates, worries, fulminates, cries out for relief — for peace.
The artwork, Banking on the Columbia, invites the viewer to step away from the noise and the tension into a remote place where one can wander and explore — because that’s what we do when we are in a place of peace and quiet: we give our minds opportunity to wander and explore: to question, to think through issues, to daydream, to wonder.
When we are constantly surrounded by noise and stress, our minds do not have this freedom, but they run, like hamsters on wheels, around and around and around the same concerns, the same worries, the same irritations. Life seems to have no answers because we do not have time and space to seek them.
We need to step away. If we cannot paddle a canoe to a remote island, then we can close and lock the bathroom door, put in ear plugs, and run a hot shower or bath. But we need to find peace and quiet.
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