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Windows ©Jennifer Neal 2017

Windows ©Jennifer Neal 2017

When I originally wrote the phrase "look through the blue sky windows" I was thinking of it like looking through a contrived exterior to see a deeper or more complex reality that probably isn't as sunny and chipper as blue skies imply. I spend a lot of time as an artist looking at life that way. I think that's an important role for artists and I'm drawn to art that acknowledges that everything actually isn't okay and can we please have some honesty because what we're doing isn't working. Art often exposes truths that we really want to ignore or deny.

But when I looked at this again later, I saw that "look through the blue sky windows" could also be understood as a choice to look intentionally for the blue skies behind the stormy. The problem is that sounds so cliched and it might be taken as offensive and dehumanizing to those who are going through some kind of stormy situation by implying that they don't have the right to sit in their suffering. But, I don't mean the forced, optimism at all costs, precious, Thomas Kincaidian kind of goodness, but an authentic, redemptive, costly goodness. Beautiful and real goodness that relieves our cynicism, anger, hate, and self righteous finger pointing, and leaves us genuinely hopeful and grateful.

Look through the blue sky windows.