Wealth In Imagination by Laurie Goodhart

Artwork and sustainable agriculture are the two threads of my professional life. They mingle fruitfully beneath the surface as I sift through remaining evidence of ancient worlds, trying to sense how people of lost cultures met basic survival needs and also how they responded to the very human hunger for beauty, meaning, and story.

In revisiting the remnants with empathy and wonder, scavenging for resonant clues and forks in the road that we didn’t take, some subtle but significant things continually resurface. For one, various ancient Greek writers  (males, e.g., Plato, Strabo, Euripides) noted that it is “the women” who keep things sacred and maintain spiritually oriented rituals; that without the impetus of women, men would not bother to honor the sacred in everyday life, carrying on without much concern beyond themselves.


Humans may very well need ritual for survival. I’d suggest that we are happy, our societies are healthy, and our ecosystems are not overtaxed when we devote our copious attention and creativity to making simple and elaborate rituals around our daily tasks and special events, privately and in community — rather than mining and hoarding vast piles of wealth.

In other words, life feels good, and is more secure, when we are creating much of the meaning and beauty we crave with our imaginations and little else. Following are some of the ways my visually-oriented brain has contemplated that idea

Small Bowl With Moons


Pink Pitcher And Persimmons


Still Life With Tattooed Figurine


Sunflowers And Osage Orange


Small Figure Beholds Aphrodite


Small Figure Beholds Aphrodite


Laurie Goodhart has been pursuing the mythic and ethereal as an artist, and the fundamental earth processes as an organic farmer, for well over 30 years. She infuses intangible and esoteric inspirations with an up-close working knowledge of the natural processes of life, death, and nurturance. More art is at lauriegoodhart.net

Categories: Ancestors, Art, Belief, Earth-based spirituality, Ritual, Spirituality, Women's Spirituality

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12 replies

  1. Laurie–I find your artwork exquisite. Thank you for posting.


  2. Thank you, Laurie, for your pictures here — so wonderfully delightful. Also the images combine with each other so perfectly, that is, as a masterpiece all in one.


  3. Truth and Beauty in this post! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your work, Laurie!


  4. I think you are absolutely right – we need ritual – I have often wondered why it is in so many cultures that “religion” is left to the women… it may well be that some/most men can’t get beyond their own stuff? I don’t want to sound sexist but i think this is an important question. I particularly loved that first bowl!


    • Agreed, Sara, it is an important question to explore and quite difficult to do so without trampling somewhere. I do have a few thoughts and possible insights. Part is food for another post and part is better left to private discussion.

      I appreciate your feedback on that first bowl painting. It always arrests me also, but it rarely sees the light of day because it’s so easily overwhelmed by all the larger, louder work. I haven’t had the time yet to meander further on that path, and your comment is a perfect nudge.



  1. Wealth In Imagination – Sustenance For A Wild Woman

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