When all of my Christian friends rushed off to see Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, I stayed behind. I firmly believe all that stuff actually happened; I don't need to see it on the big screen to feel it more deeply. The movie couldn't have increased my faith, so why go and watch the gore and be disturbed? If my children had been tortured and murdered, I wouldn't want to watch a movie about that, either.
Maybe it's because I've been up-close-and-personal with life for almost 49 years now. When I was young I turned to weighty literature and movies because I was forming the principles I wanted to live by. But now those are pretty much set; I can tell you what I believe and why. So while I still read nonfiction books and newspapers to inform my intellect and refine my opinions, I look to novels and movies for pure entertainment.
I feel the same way about the visual and performing arts.
Today is the birthday of French painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919). I've been crazy in love with the Impressionists for all of my adult life, but I've grown to admire them even more in the past ten years. So this morning I was delighted to come across this quote from Renoir:
Why shouldn't art be pretty? There are enough unpleasant things in the world.
Absolutely. If you're of the same mind, perhaps you'd like to take a look at some of Renoir's "pretty art":
The Luncheon of the Boating Party (1881)
A Girl with a Watering Can (1876)
Beach Scene, Guernsey (1883)