The grip of these types of comments loosened when I realized they were expressions of fear. At the same time, I realized their cumulative effect is devastating. This is because, more than spreading fear, they promote the withholding of life energy. Bit by bit, this withholding turns the heart dark. Bit by bit, the cold lightless heart becomes a place where brutality is born.
I realized other possibilities at the Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence in southern France. This luminous space was designed and decorated by Matisse. In the playful colors and delicate forms I saw the courage in tenderness. Our action heros are hard and loud. But in this little chapel I encountered a great power in softness and silence. The darkness in my heart found a place where the life energy it had withheld could be released and be free.