THE LIVED EXPERIENCE OF PEACE:
STUDENTS’ PHENOMENOLOGICAL ARTWORK

“Darkness, Coolness, & A Melody” by Madeline Green
This video is an attempt to capture the lived experience of peace through the themes of darkness, coolness, and melody. These themes all call out to me as an ocean in the dead of night. The darkness of the sky is mixed with the coolness of the ocean. Waves, winds, and even the faint glimmers of light create a sort of melody. All of these aspects of peace seem to call back to the time before birth, an intrinsic human experience of calmness and safety. When viewing this video, whether watching the visuals or closing your eyes and simply taking in the sounds, try to put your mind back in that time. Back before the worries and stress of your daily life. Just darkness, coolness, and a melody: peace.
“The Lived Experience of Peace” by Anonymous
I noticed two emotions in my phenomenological themes of peace. One emotion is anxiety, while the other is peace. I thought about how I would incorporate anxiety and peace in a picture, but I realized I can create two pieces that contrast the two emotions. The first picture shows anxiety as a tragedy of life and emotional upheaval. In this picture, the bars represent how anxiety can make one feel imprisoned and unable to escape, while the person screaming represents how it can make it hard to enjoy life and to connect with others. The other image displays overcoming anxiety and having emotional stability. In this painting, the sunset represents how beautiful it is to feel calm, safe, and serene, while the brighter colors in the sunset represents how one can feel empowered and free when over coming anxiety. 

“Finding Peace through Painting,” by Rachel Rush
   This was the way I found to illustrate how art played a huge part in releasing guilt and finding peace after not being able to save my grandmother’s home after she passed away. I was in a lot of pain and guilt, and reproducing her beautiful house in paintings made me realized I don’t need a building to honor her memory and to remember her love. This is not my guilt to carry. Letting the guilt go open a space in my heart to reconnect with my grandmother all over again. This exercise made me see that she will be always with me, and I was able to make peace with her and with myself.

   “A PEACE of me,” by Anonymous

Alone, scared, scarred and emotional.
But in the end I’ll be at peace.
I am sinking deeper into a scary place. 
But in the end I’ll be at peace.
Unheard, unseen, and unwanted.
But in the end I’ll be at peace.
Today I cried a little more than before.
But in the end I’ll be at peace.
I feel weak , I feel broken, I need a change.
I need peace. 
Today I questioned who I am and who I want to be.
Maybe today I’ll be at peace.
Today I woke up, smiled and decided to finally choose me.
Maybe today I’ll be at peace.   
Today I chose me and discovered something new about the inner me.
Maybe today I’ll be at peace.  
Today I chose me and saw I adjusted to who I thought I should be and not the real me.
Maybe today I’ll be at peace. 
Today I chose me, I felt me, I felt free, I felt happier.
Maybe I made it to peace.
Today, tomorrow and always I choose me.
I am at peace.
I know me, I see me, I hear me, I lost a piece of me to gain a peace of me.
Today and forever I know peace.