Monday, September 8, 2008

Life is Beauty

When we were in Montréal last week, I noticed green and white postcards stacked as we walked through passages to the Métro and the underground shopping malls. A sucker for "free" postcards with cool art, I stopped and picked one up. It had the face of an attractive - yet bald - woman applying makeup. I was intrigued.

The card was advertising Photosensitive: Cancer Connections, a photography exhibition promoted by The Canadian Cancer Society that displays cancer patients and those affected by the disease in artistic format. It's a traveling exhibition, with the current stop in Montréal. I would love to see something like this in the U.S.

As someone whose mother died of breast cancer at a very young age, the thought of the exhibition chokes me up with happiness and I think why hasn't someone done this before? Maybe they have...not to a national extent in the US, though - at least, none that I can recall. When my mother had a mastectomy, I remember that she felt like less of a woman, she felt unattractive, she felt the intense loss of something that, in our culture, nearly defines a woman. To me and all who knew her - she was beautiful, always. No matter what. I think she would have appreciated this exhibit.

I wish we had stayed long enough to see this wonderful art. It's provocative, it's beautiful, it's real, it doesn't pander or make a silly joke out of the disease for art-sake; it shows life at its most delicate and its most strong. It stirs emotion. It stirs memory. It stirs life, and reminds us how human we are. This is what art is supposed to do.

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