April 28, 2021
Keeping with the theme of celebrating our earth and learning more about climate change in order to become earth advocates, today we share a cool Google Arts and Culture offering. This one is called "Resilience in the Age of Climate Change", and in this virtual installation, visionary artists and architects explore the specter of a warming planet. The goal of this project is to help us all visualize the problem of a warming planet and identify ways we can start to take individual and collective action.
April 26, 2021
Earth Day is one of those annual holidays that should really be celebrated every day. So in the spirit of celebrating this great, blue marble that we all get to share, here is an incredible poem from our Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman. This piece, "Earthrise" was shared as a part of the "24 Hours of Reality" annual program by Climate Reality, a non-profit organization involved in education and advocacy related to climate change, founded by Al Gore. Check out the website for ways you can be an advocate for climate change awareness and make every day Earth Day.
April 21, 2021
It feels like a collective weight has been lifted from our shoulders after yesterday's trial verdict, but at that same time there is still so much work to be done. We love this quote by @BlackLiturgies on Twitter, which boils down to "joy and sorrow can coexist". Today also seems like a great time to share a beautiful piece published in the Journal of Graduate Medical education by our own Resident Physician in Pediatrics, Trisha Paul, MD. Dr. Paul's story is a moving reminder that we need to hold this moment with our head & our heart...and not forget that there is still so much more to do.
WE BY ANTHONY WILLIAMS
March 19, 2021
Today we have the exciting honor of introducing a new member of the Center for the Art of Medicine Leadership Team: Dr. Anthony Williams. Many of you might recognize Anthony from our story slams, our TPT + Hippocrates Cafe: Reflections on a Pandemic show, from his work as a Med/Peds hospitalist at Regions, and/or his newer role as Associate Program Director for our Med- Peds residency program. We are thrilled to welcome Anthony to the team and to share one of his new poems, "WE".
Daily Pause: WE by Anthony Williams
Who bears witness for the forgotten?
Who dares utter a prayer or wish,
for those rejected
by the ableist intolerant?
The lonely ones with inertia to burn,
unearth a decaying insatiable churn.
May we rest in our prison,
beset by lessons half-learned.
Every rung a stale bootstrap,
nailed neatly with sacrificial precision.
We hesitate to hail the wind
with its whispers of addictive fiction.
Each close breath weathers the exhaust of scorn,
and soaks in the broken dogma of our betters:
individual effort is the cost to tether
merit and worthiness together.
The clothing of our presence—
rough-hewn, worn, and sallow,
like weary corpses subsumed and shorn
by the essence of performative value.
We are “The Good Ones”.
The token credits to our kind,
totems of a broken system
making edits to our minds.
But we remember.
DAILY PAUSE: COVID AUGUST BY MARY BERG
March 12, 2021
It's been awhile since we were able to share user submitted content for our Daily Pauses. Thanks to a great story by our friends at the University of Minnesota Foundation, Mary Berg, MEd '81, saw our cool project and submitted a poem of her own. She loves the idea of using art, poetry and literature to heal our collective losses. If you have art you'd like to submit, our digital doors are always open!
Aspen leaves quiver
Poplar trees quake
Breezes of summer
On a walk by the lake.
Sumac reds and cattail browns,
Deep green oaks,
Crushed gravel on the ground.
High cirrus clouds,
The dregs of August are winding down.
Humid heat shimmers in the air;
Lifts and tousles walkers’ hair.
Sweat drenched backs,
No baseball gloves,
No cracking bats, no stealing base.
No crowds of onlookers keeping pace.
Just a runner and a pair of bikers,
Dog walkers and mosey-makers.
The breezes kiss my cheek and skim
The only touches on my skin
Alone amidst pandemic’s rise,
I watch and search for paradise
Within the natural world my perch,
Birds, bees, stones, and birch.
Allow Covid’s shadows to touch my face
And let the quiet words escape.
Beneath my hand, flow from my pen,
Until I’m filled back up again.
April 2, 2021
AFTER THE WINTER BY CLAUDE MCKAY
March 22, 2021
We could never miss out on an opportunity to share a beautiful poem by Claude McKay on the topic of spring! Happy belated vernal equinox to all of you- enjoy the bright start to your week! Paired with a striking photo from Farmer's Almanac of a spring snowstorm.
March 17, 2021
As we continue seeing reminders of the one year anniversary of COVID and lockdown on the news and in our "on this day" feeds, we want to remember the creativity that came out of this time of uncertainty. Today we share some incredible clay pieces submitted by Layl McDill, a full time artist who also teaches through the Arboretum's Nature Based Therapy Program. Enjoy the whimsy of her offerings and the reminder that art is a powerful tool for getting through tough times.
- The image at the top is "Results of Closet Cleaning During Quarantine" made with polymer clay, shoes, wire and glitter
- "This piece made me laugh at a time when laughter was greatly needed! I didn't hold back- I made it as crazy as possible!"
- The image below is "Something Happening Beyond the Garden" made with polymer clay, found vessel, wire, beads
- "I created this piece after spending many hours in my garden and forgetting all that was happening in the world at the time only to be reminded when I turned on the radio or watched the news".
March 15, 2021
Unfortunately, Pi Day fell on a Sunday this year. We hope you were all able to celebrate by enjoying you favorite pie, but if you didn't remember, we've got your back. We've seen a great response to our latest "Special Daily Pause" with Pie and Mighty 'Pie Operating Officer' Rachel Swan. Many of you have commented that the video of her baking is wildly soothing, and we know many of you express yourselves in the kitchen. So today we are offering up another video of Rachel sharing her famous pie crust recipe. If you make your own, tag us in your photos by using the hashtag #CFAMpiday. Sorry in advance for making you hungry!
March 1, 2021
Today, in the month that marks the one-year anniversary of the WHO declaring COVID-19 a pandemic, we want to share this video tribute from The Nocturnists. This virtual choir of healthcare workers memorializes the 500,000 Americans lost to the pandemic with a moving video tribute featuring the song "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen and illustrations by Nazila Jamalifard. Through offerings like this, The Nocturnists hope to give rise to a forum in which medical professionals can drop the façade of dispassionate authority and speak freely about their vulnerabilities, struggles and aspirations. We support this mission and hope this month brings hope and recovery to all of you.
February 22, 2021
Throughout February, we want to lift up artistic works from the Black community to honor Black History Month. Today we share a video poem by our partners at Motion Poems titled "Things I Carry Into the World". Written by New York based-poet Cynthia Manick, the video interpretation of the poem is an abstract meditation on the body, the feminine, the everyday realities of being young and Black, and the fragile relationship between the manmade and the natural.
February 8, 2021
Throughout February, we want to lift up artistic works from the Black community to honor Black History Month. Today, we want to celebrate (again) our National Youth Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman. Gorman's poem, "Chorus of the Captains" was read at yesterday's Super Bowl and honors three Americans — Los Angeles educator Trimaine Davis, Florida nurse manager Suzie Dorner and Pittsburgh-based James Martin, a Marine veteran who volunteers with the Wounded Warrior Project and who has taken in local kids facing issues at home—for their work amid the coronavirus pandemic.
We love this tribute to those frontline workers who don't always receive recognition for their tireless work, and love the platform being given to the arts in 2021.
FEBRUARY 1, 2021
Throughout February, we want to lift up artistic works from the Black community to honor Black History Month. We're kicking things off with a sculpture by Kehinde Wiley, who you may recognize as the Nigerian American portrait painter who made history as the first Black artist to paint an official presidential portrait(Barack Obama).
Kehinde continues to reimagine traditional portraiture, most recently with Rumors of War, a monumental sculpture that offers a contemporary response to confederate statutes, rethinking the concept of a "hero" and American identity. “Today,” he said during the sculpture's unveiling in Times Square, “we say yes to something that looks like us. We say yes to inclusivity. We say yes to broader notions of what it means to be an American.”
January 4, 2021
Happy 2021! We want to kick-off the new year with a contemporary dance video from MN Dance Company. Performing to a song by WOODKID titled "LAND OF ALL", we hope this pause will get your energy going and push you to work towards all of your new year's resolutions. Take a look at the company's other videos (linked on Instagram above) if you want more inspiration to get moving.
December 14, 2020
Today we pause with another incredible short piece from the TPT Hippocrates Cafe: Reflections on the Pandemic lineup with Gao Hong playing an excerpt from her original composition “Flying Dragon”. The pipa is a pear-shaped lute which has four strings that are plucked. Gao Hong is a master pipa player, composer, and professor who began her career as a professional musician at age 12 at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. We are so lucky to be able to share her incredible talents with our community. If you haven’t already watched, you can check out the full Hippocrates Cafe offering here.
December 11, 2020
To end the week, we take a trip to Zürich’s Main Train Station to see GaiaMotherTree by Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto. GaiaMotherTree is a monumental sculpture made of brightly colored hand-knotted cotton strips. It resembles a tall tree and extends right up to the ceiling of the station concourse. GaiaMotherTree is not only a sculpture, but also a walk-in structure that functions as a meeting place and a venue for interaction and meditation. A program of events takes place inside the installation, including concerts, workshops, talks, and guided tours.
December 9, 2020
Our next art installation from around the world is found in the National Art Center in Tokyo: “The Forest of Numbers” by Emmanuelle Moureaux. This installation uses more than 100 colors and more than 60,000 pieces of the numbers 0-9 suspended in the air, with paths to walk through. The installation is meant to visualize the future over the next ten years. Inside the forest, two girls and one cat were “lost inside'' for explorers to find. Check out this futuristic and whimsical use of numbers today!
December 7, 2020
This week, to combat quarantine blues, we are going to feature some art installations from around the world to give you a dose of culture and creativity. Today, we pause with Tili Wiru Tjuta Nyakutjaku (looking at lots of beautiful lights) by British artist Bruce Munro. Installed in Uluru, Australia and on display until 2018, this interactive outdoor exhibit featured thousands of tiny beautiful lights set up in Australia’s Northern Territory. Viewers could walk through the installation and even share a meal under it. Paired with the beautiful night sky in Australia, this is a true visual masterpiece.
July 14, 2020
In honor of Bastille Day, we offer the following song, Ne me quitte pas ("Don't leave me"), written in 1959 by the singer-songwriter Jacques Brel. This version is sung by the incomparable Nina Simone. (We've included an English translation of an exceprt of the lyrics below.) As healthcare professionals, these lyrics might be interpreted in a second way, different from the love song that the author intended, but as a plea for dying patients, “don’t leave me…”. In either interpretation, enjoy the dose of culture on this gloomy day.
Ne me quitte pas (Don’t leave me)
Don't leave me
We must forget
All can be forgotten
That has already passed away
Forget the time
And the time lost
Trying to know "how"
Forget those hours
That sometimes kill
With slaps of "why"
The heart of happiness
Don't leave me
Don't leave me
Don't leave me
Don't leave me
I Worried: Poem by Mary Oliver
We're all experiencing a lot of anxiety and uncertainty, so Mary Oliver's poem, "I Worried," seems especially appropriate now.
I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers
flow in the right direction, will the earth turn
as it was taught, and if not how shall
I correct it?
Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,
can I do better?
Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows
can do it and I am, well,
Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it,
am I going to get rheumatism,
Finally, I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning,