Artists inspire resolution: show more gratitude for beauty

COFFEE WITH WARREN, with Warren Harbeck
Cochrane Eagle, December 29, 2016

Cochrane artist Suzanne Lorinczi’s 16×20 oil-on-canvas “Wetlands Remembered” (top) was inspired by column’s photo of blue heron (bottom). Photos by Warren Harbeck

My New Year’s resolution for 2016 was to “serve many more Cups of Light at Coffee with Warren.” But the fact is you, our coffee companions, were the ones who served me many more Cups of Light over the past year.

For example, when Cochrane artist Suzanne Lorinczi saw the photo of the blue heron that ran with our Aug. 4 column, she celebrated it in “Wetlands Remembered,” a 16×20 inch oil-on-canvas.

My wife and I had taken that photo at a pond along Hwy 22 just south of town. Indeed, it’s one of the delights of living in Cochrane, that planners have preserved these easily accessible wetlands to treat us to such unexpected refreshing moments.

By the way, Suzanne is at the forefront of preserving such wetlands. Be sure to view the 16-minute video, “When Two Worlds Collide,” which she directed on behalf of CEAC (Cochrane Environmental Action Committee).

“This exquisite blue heron seems to be standing on guard, knowing it is on sacred territory,” she says.

The fact that Suzanne has honoured that blue-heron moment through art reminds me of a quote that guides these columns: “The world will be saved by beauty,” by the Russian writer Dostoevsky.

Wildlife artist Randy Neufeld and I were discussing those words in the light of Suzanne’s painting just the other day.

“We all want to be connected to the universe around us in a meaningful way,” he told me, “and for many that connection comes through those rare moments when the world reveals its beauty and we are open to it, when we are awestruck to the core.

“Those moments are precious and tend to give a person hope for a better world simply by overpowering all other thoughts and replacing them with peace and contentment.”

Gratitude is the appropriate response, he concluded.

On that note, here’s my New Year’s resolution for 2017: To do my part in healing a broken world by showing more gratitude for all the beauty around us, especially as celebrated in and through our amazing coffee companions.


© 2016 Warren Harbeck

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