Death & Art
Swimming my way back from the depths of change. Hasn't that been the story of our individual & collective lives for the past several years? Certainly now, with the onslaught of an evil empire savagely attacking a neighboring nation for power, savage revenge, unbridled greed. One wonders, how can we go forward embodying the uncertainty promulgated at us on a daily basis? We go on because there is no satisfactory alternative. Politics aside, I am struck with the shock & awe of abrupt, unpredictable change that at some time in our lives we must all endure. At a most immediate & particularly personal level, both I and my family are adjusting to the sudden, unexpected (tho understandable) death of a life partner, a father, a brother, an uncle, a step-father, a beloved friend, a colleague, a neighbor, a volunteer, a client, a buddy, an ally, a thorn in the side, a graceful man, a trusted mentor, a predictable & unpredictable human being: my husband. Reminded again, nothing stays the same. We are fooled into believing that the comfortable present will remain our predictable & comforting friend. Oh yes, there are micro changes; gas prices go up, grocery shelves change, there is road work re-routing our ordinary route. We are lulled into the false belief that our lives will go on as we are presently experiencing them. Then the bomb drops. The tsunami rages through the known narrative of our lives. Nothing is the same. The earth has shifted on its axis.
Then what? We find ourselves in a rage of change. Nothing appears the same. The sameness of the past route suddenly feels foreign. The friendly checker at our local grocery store appears alien. Nothing can be counted on. The solid ground beneath our trusting feet has inexorably betrayed us, shifting permanently. We rage; we grieve; we numb ourselves. Tears flow into muffled screams, protesting inevitable change in life. We are thrust into the certain knowledge that our lives will continue to shift & unsettle a pleasant, comfortable, predictable, comforting routine. Everything we know will eventually be different; unknown. We too will die. We are reminded, we are not in control. All is illusion.
Thus we fall, tumble, violently roll into an uncertain future. No off-ramps. No safety harness. No reprieve.
What is left beside despair?
There. There it is. What propels us into our uncertain future, what assures hope, what lures as excitement is the antidote: we can create something new, something better. We understand evolution at a deeper level. We are discovering...our 'self's. Ourselves. And in that nugget of deeper understanding, we find a knowing place. This is the place all human beings from the dawn of time have found the resources for building a better way, an evolution of one learning upon another. We strive for beauty, for peace, for harmony, comfort & joy. The struggle is worth it. For in each of our lives, we do find that joy. We do find the dependable other, if only for a fleeting moment in time. Thus, we have hope. We aspire to kinder, more loving relationships. We learn, we are survivors. We will survive. We will thrive. It will happen. But first, we must feel. We must stumble blindly into the future...trusting our creative nature to figure things out.
Thus, "Art". This is the 'source'. Our most vulnerable center is the source of all creativity. It is a hard place to reach, a demanding birther of evolution. It demands to be known, artist or not. The value? It deepens us, softens us, opens us. It makes us compassionate of our fellow sojourners. Regardless of race, creed or color. The longer I create as an artist along with traveling thru this uncertain life, the more deeply I understand the value of our essence: creativity. That is the place from which my visual art emanates. I am over & over humbled by this knowledge. I am vulnerable. I can never again not know that. When I can drop down into that crevice, vulnerable, trembling to be known, to be seen. When I have the courage to show you who I am through the visual field of art I create, I am open. I know I can be comfortable with the discomfort of your judgement, disdain, disagreement equally to the joy I feel when you resonate with my art, with me, with one small, deep part of myself expressed humbly & boldly on a piece of paper, canvas or wood. Welcome to my world. I bow to your equally human spirit.
Your Artist Ally: p'anne