The Opportunity to Live My Truth
In this series I have written about many personal reasons I love being an artist. But, bottom line, the very most important thing about being an artist, for me, is that I get to live my truth. It’s what I fear losing more than anything else. It’s what I continue to fight for; it’s what I continue to believe in.
I hear from so many of you who are still striving for that. Some of you haven’t found what it is yet, while others have, but not how to live it and, of course, this is so because living it is not made easy. We, each and every one of us, yearn toward it. Yet the culture in which we live asks something else from us.
Our society is founded on capitalism, and a basic tenant of capitalism is that the economy must continually grow or it collapses. As a result, much about our lives is supposed to be geared toward financial growth, production and purchasing. Our public school system is built to educate followers, I believe, for this reason, not free thinkers. We are not meant to dream. Does IBM need dreamers? We are not meant to ask questions (although I think this is changing–Steve Jobs taught us all something about the value of questioning). But, generally, our culture asks that we follow a career path and make money to sustain the system–enough to buy plenty of stuff.
I recently watched a movie titled Powaqqatsi, with a friend. From the Hopi language, powaq-sorcerer + qatsi-life, it is a noun that means an entity, a way of life, that consumes the life forces of other beings in order to further its own life. It was a very powerful movie. There was no dialog, only stunning music by Phillip Glass and image after image of human beings, en masse, marching to someone else’s drum.
And maybe this is yet another reason why art is so precious: Those of us who choose to make it must leave the mainstream system we’ve been indoctrinated into, which isn’t easy. For most of us the financial rewards are spotty. Our families worry for us; some think of us as irresponsible. I don’t have a pension plan or a 401K. I will be working until the day I die. Picasso famously said, “Death? It will merely interrupt my work.” So it is for me.
But I possess something priceless. I live within the freedom to pursue the light of my life. I wake each day with the choice available to me to embrace my essence, to live the truth as it is known in my soul. It is rarely easy, but it is always elevating. It is, I believe, our most basic human right, to walk upon this earth as we were meant to.
I wish it for each and every one of us.
Love to you all,
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- 10 reasons why i love to be an artist (19)
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