She told us this:
In 1956, Harper Lee received a unique Christmas gift. Her friends, Michael and Joy Brown, offered her one year’s salary on the condition that she quit her job and dedicate herself to her writing.
The result was To Kill a Mockingbird.
It is a remarkable story of modern-day generosity; citizen to citizen. It is a remarkable story of faith in a friend’s potential. It is a story of belief in an individual’s ability to make a difference to the outcome of another’s creative dreams and aspirations; and, thereby, create a richer, better world for all of us.
Most of us are not in a position to be as generous as the Browns, but we all have immense power to contribute a little to artistic friends and communities.
We do this by buying bloggers’/friends’ books,
by reviewing them,
by giving a friendly shout-out;
and some of us organise writing contests, cater for a friend’s concert, donate to crowd-sourcing; and even provide the most basic of support, in the form of very welcome meals to ‘starving’ artists. And, in return, our lives are enriched by wonderful music and writing and art. Not every artistic endeavour will reach the dizzying heights of To Kill a Mockingbird, but that does not mean those works we do support, and encourage, are any the less valuable to the general enrichment of humanity. Imagine, if you will, a world of people, well sponsored/cared for by each other, and, thus, all so busy with creative activities that there is neither the time nor the energy to pick up guns and warmonger; to de-create. Imagine! Imagine that with just a ‘little’ it may be in our power to create that world.
Mmmm….not sure what would happen to the laundry and the dusting and the weeding and the planting in such a creative scenario but, I guess, they could be squeezed in somewhere.
As I was completing this post, the news came through of the death of Michael Brown. Here is a link to the New York Times article.