Take Your Broken Heart and Turn It Into Art

· August 16, 2017

“Take your broken heart and turn it into art.” That was the phrase with which Meryl Streep finished her marvelous speech upon receiving her well-deserved Golden Globe. It lasted a little over a minute, and her words turned into art.

We don’t want to talk about the true purpose of that speech or who it was directed towards. As we already know, the president elect Donald Trump didn’t hesitate to publish a response. A response that, as was to be expected from such a character, was not up to par with the moral quality of our veteran actress.

“Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to intimidate others, we all lose.”
-Meryl Streep-

On our part, we wish to delve into the final touch of the speech. Into that phrase which, in a form of epilogue, perfectly summarizes a principle of overcoming and absolute personal growth. “Take your broken heart and turn it into art.” That phrase, in truth, was a piece of advice that Carrie Fisher had given Meryl Streep some time ago.

Not everyone knew that behind the image of Princess Leia, there was actually a brave woman in hiding. A warrior that had faced addiction, bipolar disorder and a continuous struggle to break into Hollywood as a screenwriter. Carry Fisher also took notice of something that her mother, the exceptional actress and also recently deceased Debbie Reynolds, had taught her.

Art, in whatever form or means of expression, is a marvelous way of liberating emotions, of healing broken hearts. And not just that. Art, furthermore, dignifies us as people by allowing us to give the best of ourselves in order to share it with others.


We invite you to reflect upon this premise.

carry fisher and debbie reynolds

Art as catharsis, as expression and beauty

Meryl Streep’s speech didn’t just seek to criticize the President Elect without even mentioning his name. The objective was to delve into something else: the crisis of values the country currently lives in. A country  that, due to a certain establishment, is forgetting a very concrete aspect. Art is not just entertainment. Art is culture, it’s the magic of diversity, of freedom and a medium with which to create legacies and common learning.

Art, furthermore, is therapeutic. We all have in mind more than one movie and book that came to us at the right time. During the moment we need it the most. However, many of us aren’t solely passive receptors of the artistic world. Some of us also make use of it as a medium of expression, as a form of catharsis. As a magnificent instrument to give voice to our emotions, to expand our freedom and, in turn, touch others.

Active art, the artistic exercise which is practiced through one’s hands and body has healing properties. An example, illustrative as it is endearing, can be seen in the movie “How to Make an American Quilt” (1995). In this movie, the lives of various women are told throughout the story. One of them had a very specific habit. Every time she was disappointed, betrayed or whenever sadness flooded her heart, she broke a glass, cup or plate.

broken ceramic cups

Later, she carefully picked up each little piece of broken crystal or ceramic and glued it to a wall. After a couple of years, she realized that she had created a work of art worthy of admiration. On that colorful wall, chaotic and diverse, small pieces of her broken heart where hidden, transformed into art.

Art as a form of empathy

Let’s circle back to Meryl Streep’s speech. In her words, she reminded us again how the world of art and empathy are related in a marvelous way. In fact, if there’s a dimension which beats strongly within the heart of every person linked to the world of art, be it interpretation, music, poetry, painting or writing, it is undoubtedly empathy.

“Art is the expression of a soul that wishes to be heard.”

Thus, Meryl Streep didn’t hesitate to declare that “she had felt broken-hearted”. Especially upon seeing the new president taunting a New York Times journalist. This journalist, Serge Kovaleski, suffered from motor deficiencies due to a congenital disease.
felt plush hearts

In fact, after that, there’s something that we cannot let go by unnoticed. The world of art and the business world, which the new head of the White House comes from, proceed from two complete opposing sides. We can’t ignore that in the business context, the word “empathy” and “emotional intelligence” are labeled under the term “innovation”. So, they are unknown dimensions and, until recently, where considered useless or completely unproductive.

To conclude, we are destined to live through strange, complex and very contradictory times. Therefore, we can’t forget these marvelous and comforting channels offered by the world of art. They are a form of expression, as well as a connection to our emotions and those of others.

Art makes us more human and, in turn, creates extraordinary people, such as Meryl Streep.

Here you can watch her speech.