After one hundred days of confinement following a bone marrow transplant, I rejoiced in taking short walks to a nearby park as I was writing 'Girl in Hyacinth Blue.' The uncertainty of my survival made every blade of grass gorgeous in its green intensity, lifting itself up, doing its part to make the world beautiful.
I pored over art books and absorbed the placidness of Monet's garden, the sparkling color of the Impressionists, the strength and solidity of Michelangelo's figures showing the titanic power of humans at one with God, Jan Vermeer's serene Dutch women bathed in gorgeous honey-colored light... My conviction grew that art was stronger than death.
Where there is no human connection, there is no compassion. Without compassion, then community, commitment, loving-kindness, human understanding, and peace all shrivel. Individuals become isolated, the isolated turn cruel, and the tragic hovers in the forms of domestic and civil violence. Art and literature are antidotes to that.
As New York careens toward the modernity of the twentieth century when Gibson girls were transforming themselves into working women, Clara Driscoll enters the male field of stained glass artistry and builds a lively, multi-national, multi-class women's department within Tiffany Studios.
Susan B. Anthony said that the bicycle did more to emancipate women than any other single thing. The bicycle was linked in the psyches of women at that time as a symbol of practical emancipation. Women could go places, wear their skirts shorter to manage the bicycle, and be independent.