Why the Institute?
Back in 2010 I was working at a farm animal rescue that got in a rescue of over 100 birds. They turned out to be mostly roosters, and many turned out to be extremely sick with an illness that is hard to cure. Their distress was palpable and heartbreaking despite care efforts... they would cry out and whimper, and there were so many of them in various states of failing health. The roosters could be tough to help, too: they had come from a terrible abuse situation - an underground slaughterhouse in the city, and they could not understand we were trying to help them. Their natural protective aggression was just something one had to take as part of any attempt to help them. Along with fellow staff members, I did whatever I could to administer meds and hope they would pull through, but many days felt overwhelmed and bleak. There were so many in a bad state.
One day I had an idea. I put on a new-age music CD I had found (Donna De Lory's "Sanctuary.") a very angelic, peaceful collection of songs for meditation. It became clear that this soothing music and singing calmed the birds - their cries would virtually cease when the music was playing; the building would quiet, and they would find a state of rest. I played the CD every day I was there, and always the same thing happened: a peace would descend.
Several dozen birds ended up pulling through, in part due to having stronger immune systems that could respond to the care... but I never forgot how the soothing and beautiful voice of this singer shifted the energy in the room. It not only improved the birds' quality of life but lightened my own struggling psyche as caregiver, too.
Then, another burst of light I did not expect: A kind intern there, Chaldea, surprised me near the end of her internship with this drawing, which I treasure. Besides the heart and humor she imbued into such a difficult situation, her gift of this artwork meant the world to me; made me feel, as an employee doing difficult work in a place fairly in the middle of nowhere, like I was not just working in a void.
Thank you Chaldea and Donna De Lory, for the gifts of your artistry. Art has the power to contribute to healing, to hope, to provide positive energy and inspiration for both humans and non-humans. We hope to be channeling more into this concept, with The Institute!
Donna DeLory's music - https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/DonnaDeLory9