“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”–Pablo Picasso
I haven’t been able to create much lately. There’s been sufficient “dust,” along with weightier matter including the recent loss of my mom, to tap out my available time, mental, physical, and emotional energy, and, ultimately, inspiration.
I’ve hungered increasingly to make some work. I’ve been itching to write something or to resume efforts on my nearly forgotten dance solo. Each time the spark has appeared, though, it has subsequently fizzled in defeat, and my wondering “what does it matter, anyway?”
Well, it does.
As illustrated for me loudly, clearly and wondrously when we attended one of my kids’ music concerts at his school the other night. The joy of the music transported me to a place of comfort, hope and elation, as did witnessing so many adolescents, of all shapes, appearance and sizes, coming together and working so hard to offer something of beauty to us and the universe.
That inspiring experience spurred me to rev myself up again by gobbling up others’ art. Yes! Drafting off of their creativity, talent and inspiration to rekindle the fire.
So, yesterday I went to dance class, even though I felt at first as if I wouldn’t be able to do even the smallest movement. Wrong. Today, as I walk around on my “dancing legs,” each creaky step reminds me of the jubilation and challenge of yesterday’s feast of movement with that masterful teacher and so many gorgeous dancers.
Back home, I checked out the archives of the graceful, luminous writer at http://www.things+flesh.wordpress.com and the stunning prints of http://www.chiaink.wordpress.com, and a few other lovely blogs. I read another essay from Ann Patchett’s insightful, wry and eloquent book, “This Is the Story of A Happy Marriage.” I came away refreshed and stimulated.
Joseph Campbell said that “[l]ife has no meaning. We each have meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.” Relishing the vision of many artists in the past couple of days reminds me of how crucial art is to me. It feeds my soul, imbuing my life with loveliness and deep meaning.
Making my own art is my offering, however humble. It is my raison d’être. If I neglect my art, I imperil the essence of my own life and whatever I can contribute during this lifetime.
While things have been especially rocky lately, I remind myself that daily life will always scatter, or heap :), “dust” onto us. It’s essential for me to cultivate art in my life as much as I can, even if I have to scrabble to do it.
It’s also crucial to express appreciation to all those intrepid and generous folks who make life worth living with their artistry. By keeping at it, at the magical, infuriating, transcendent (and often unheralded and unrecompensed) experience of creating art, artists stimulate, challenge, humor, comfort, inspire, beautify and enchant us and our lives.
So, yes, I am shouting from my rooftop: THANK GOD FOR ARTISTS! Go Make Art. I’ll see you there.