It’s been awhile since I sent out a note to the universe. Life has been taking me on a straight forward journey into learning about hard choices. Doing the right thing, taking care of myself, knowing the difference between setting a boundary, the repercussions of setting said boundary and taking on someone else’s burden.
Where do I start and where do other people begin? When do I want to engage in the giant web of community in which we are all united and when do I want to collect myself and remember who I am?
Being an artist is a rough business. It’s a romanticised position, but living the life of an artist is quite different. No parent will encourage going down the creative path, it’s full of uncertainty, rejection, sabotage, competition, poverty and alienation. But if that’s who you are, if it’s all you want, if you are blessed and cursed with the mantle of “artist” society will challenge everything you do and judge you based on your ability to make money, to be known and to produce work. You will have to prove your worth over and over because your job requires you to live outside of the known and tangible. This will threaten the deep rooted structure the pecking order has established itself in. Artists are rebels, visionaries and the voice of the future.
It’s easy to lose yourself wherever you are on the spectrum of success v.s. failure. Cliques will come and go, one day you will be celebrated, and the next day no one will know your name. Being attached to an outcome, exactly how you see it in your head is disastrous. Or worse yet, trying to get approval for the vision in someone’s else’s head.
This brings me back to something so often forgotten, play…. Life can be so serious as we all rush to save for a house, retirement, setting up our life to die peacefully…but there are no guarantees…Living to anticipate death, is a sad set of obligations society has brainwashed us into identifying with.
Play…requires us to be in the present, to be focused without self criticism, to explore, to open up and shut out the external societal chatter. When I find myself falling down into the hole of self criticism, comparison or dealing with the pressures of society that try to box in who I am and what my life should look like…I come back to play, and remember that wonder, openness and vulnerability are the cornerstones of peace.