The Gasping Glory of Making Art


IMG_1408Recently, we attended a concert of music and dance at a high school where I had guest taught.  There were many, many talented young artists sharing their work on an extensive, ambitious program.

Yet, one of the standout moments that lingered for me was not one of the most virtuosic ones, nor one of the most complex, either.  What was emblazoned in my memory was a tiny, yet eternal, instant in the short solo by one of the younger, less experienced dancers.

After she performed some fairly simple choreography, she stood facing the audience and made a small arm gesture to accompany an opening movement in her torso.  To be honest, I cannot recall the choreography precisely.

But what I can remember clearly, is the way she suddenly filled up with and radiated light. Her soul illuminated with reverence, with exultation.  You could tell that in her deepest self, she was home. Offering a glimpse of her inimitability to the world.

She and that moment took my breath away. And stung my eyes with surprise tears.

When I thought back over why I had such a powerful visceral response, I realized that that young dancer’s performance echoes with mine.  What I was reminded of through her, what punched me in the solar plexus, is the paramount importance of making art, of creating and offering genuinely our vision of the beautiful and meaningful.

She embodied why so many of us make art, as stupefying, discouraging, infuriating, difficult and unappreciated as it may be, in whatever form it takes.  Dance, music, writing, visual art, and beyond.

We do it to come to know who we are, and who we could be.  To share that creative spark with the universe.  And, when we are especially fortunate, for those indescribable, jewel-like moments of transcendence, of eternity.

Gone in a flash…yet echoing over the eons, showering everywhere and on everyone the ineradicable, positive shimmer of art.


Photo credit: Bottom–Rich Davis

For Rachael


This entry was posted in Creativity, Dance, Inspiration, possibility and expansiveness, Soulful and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The Gasping Glory of Making Art

  1. Heartafire says:

    Lovely post!!

  2. Rachael says:

    A timely piece. And thank you 🙂

  3. diahannreyes says:

    Yes- those moments of aliveness. Not to belittle technique and skill and ability and talent because those are important too-but those lived moments when the spirit comes through. I know in acting, it’s those moments (and I think I’ve said that before here) that were so unexpected so full of life that hit me the most. I love that you are all about that, too Chloe.

  4. SirenaTales says:

    Yes! Here’s to “…when the spirit comes through…those moments…that were so unexpected so full of life….” Your description is so spot on–the combination of the surprise, the depth and the integrity of that moment took my breath away. Thank you so much for your beautiful and insightful presence here, Diahann.

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