Even breathing, we are art. We are a collection of found objects, curated treasures, unique imperfections, long lines, and daring curves. Even uninspired, we are inspiring--if we'll allow ourselves the luxury of belief, the all-too-necessary food of faith.
There is always art to be made from pain, from anger, from frustration. Instead of allowing these dictators to become our masters, we can enlist them as our co-creators and do something beautiful or, at least, cathartic with the energy that threatens to rule, then ruin us.
You don't need me to tell you that we take so much for granted; it's the human condition--if everything were new all the time, I doubt we'd ever leave the house. But surely we can bring some of that wonder back into the everyday, especially when we're stressed, especially when we're tired, and most especially when we're cold and stalking toward cynicism.
Perhaps it's too easy to say that everything is art. Perhaps it's more accurate to say that everything *could* be art--all the more reason to surround ourselves, when we can, with things that are lovely, functional, and (the holy grail of material objects) handmade.
I don't know, but I like that company--the company of the artisan, the handmade, the beautiful-and-functional. I like things with life, with years on them, weathered and lasting. I can only hope I'll age so well.
I like scars; I like tattoos, probably for the same reason I love art--an entire story told, interpreted, individualized without the need for language. I do not believe the depth of our experience, our emotional life, or what truly moves us out of bodily existence and into spirit/heart/flow can be expressed with words.
It cannot be told; it can only be shown.
This is the oldest rule of writing, and why we have so few
When you come from a maternal line of artists, and when your own visual art skills are amateurish at best, then you take a lot of art classes. Perspective is one of the hardest skills to master, both inside and out of the studio. That you could become both present and absent enough to see the panorama, the scope, the eventual unfolding of possibilities and accept, with very little angst, that it could all shift, well. That's a skill belonging to the master.
We could learn a lot from the artists--the ability to accept what's there, capture it through some lens of beauty, of spectacle, of consequence, all while depending on it to change is what makes the capturing of this ephemeral moment so magical, so timeless.
I love the expression our Southern sisters use for when things go awry--"tits up." Somehow, it makes risk more, what, courageous? An act of sheer artistry. Burlesque-esque artistry. Brave artistry.
Art is brilliantly messy, but you know, this whole living thing is, too. It's about finding the courage, not to DO what you love, necessarily, but to FIND things you love and to COMMIT your whole self to them. That's a different task. "Do what you love." Well, sure, but what are my options if I need this job/this house/this relationship (whatever it is), this dependency of the moment? That's just a frustrating order--drop it all, do what you love. Because sometimes, maybe most times, we just can't.
But! (There's alway s a but...) you can find what you love and not be ashamed for openly loving it--so you're a Goth girl who loves cultivating roses. So you're VP of some big conglomeration but you love bodice-ripper romance novels. So you're a kid who loves dressing in princess gowns whi...
Do a little of what you love every day. Really, it's all you have to offer in return for this life, even if you feel you owe nothing to this world because it's been so bloody hard (then double points to you for spending five minutes, ten minutes, in love with something you've created--that's wild and brave and daring).
A little can be a little or a lot--see, that's the beauty of it. In my world, finding a quarter on the sidewalk is a pretty sweet deal. For others? They'd leave it there--not worth the trouble to pick up. That's okay. That's their working definition of what's worthwhile.
The point? Do what you love. One minute a day. Seven. Sixteen hours. You're the boss and you set the schedule.
You're not always at the mercy of someone else's clock. And the love, the art, the forest, the light will wait.
But not forever. It needs to be fed and will die, distressingly quickly, when given nothing for light but screens and devices, nothing for breath but central heating and...
It can, so often, feel as though you're doing nothing but blunding through your days. I write these pieces for the simple reason that I struggle with this kind of hoplessness, this kind of loss (and lost-ness). So, I give myself the advice I want to hear. But it's advice I *know* to be true. I feel it being taught. It's just time to learn. To assimilate. To trust.