Friday, September 2, 2011
The Power of Art to Heal
I recently returned from traveling to Oslo, Norway. This is one of the most beautiful places in the world. So vibrant, fresh, wonderful.
Oslo suffered a terrible tragedy on July 22, 2011, where a madman perpetuated a bombing and horrific attack by shooting and killing more than 77 people, including many young people who were at a summer camp.
This senseless act of violence saddens and sickens me, as it does everyone all over the world.
Many people in Oslo asked me if I was afraid to go to Oslo after this happened. And my answer was, no, of course not. If anything, it determined my resolve to go to a place that I love and that I will not allow this terrible tragedy to taint the incredible love I feel for Norway.
I spent a great deal of time in the Oslo cathedral, several visits over many days, praying for the people that died and for their families and loved ones.
In one section of the cathedral, there were numerous drawings from children, with prayers, poems, wishes, and thoughts about what had happened. The floor was an art area with blank papers and crayons.
I felt that this was a powerful tool to help the children process this senseless crime. And the adults wandering around reading these messages of hope seemed to be receiving some semblance of healing at the same time.
Art heals. I truly believe that.