Water seeping into the basement and to while the time away before help arrives, there is the daily selection at flickr.com/explore to browse. Sticking to the day’s routine, in spite of the household mess, is a source of some comfort. But the contrast of primary needs (food and shelter, safety and freedom from distress) and the hunt for beauty seems so very stark. This morning it seems to be a rare thing indeed to be browsing until the composition speaks to me, the light enchants me, or the location catches my interest. But then I remember: the need for food and a secure, happy place to live are only stepping stones to the things that bring wider and deeper meaning, the search for beauty or appetite for giving and receiving respect, for example. In other words, browsing pictures or galleries of visual art and watching performing art really do give value to one’s live, meaning to one’s growing awareness and abilities to connect new experiences to wider constellations of patterns and relationships. Whether it comes through a lens, at the end of a pencil, or off a violin’s horsehair bow, art does matter – both to produce and to engage in. Hurrah for wonder, even when water is rising in one’s house, or the world is ravaged by rising consumption of goods and energy.