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Renewing Vows to Artistry

Today I contemplate what I would do with my time if I knew I would not fail and financial security were guaranteed. Art. The making of it, learning different disciplines, sharing the knowledge through teaching, performance, and facilitating collective art-making.

Why Art?  It’s often thought to be a bonus elective in schools, an activity we do “if we have time” after the very important tasks of running a household, business or community.  Because so many enjoy it and common is the belief that earned income must come through difficult unpleasant work, then it is quite understandable that we would think of the Arts as play for children, not for an adult serious about making a living wage.  And while it is feels good to write about it, there are uncomfortable challenges that come with choosing an Arts discipline as a profession.  Admittedly, I have had my moments of wishing that I could be someone I am not for the ability to take the well-worn path of other occupations with plenty of employment to go around and minimal risk.

The Arts, for me, is where the discovery of Self and Other meet, have a conversation, make-up alternate possibilities from our current reality and then dare us to live differently, sometimes more bold and hopefully, less afraid. It’s important work!  How else shall we communicate our inner world to the outer world but through the arts?  And were it not for this communication between inner and outer worlds, how else could we evolve our minds, our thoughts, indeed, our actions which create the world we experience?

Many people say they want a happy experience in this life.  Many want a clean world, a peaceful world, a joyful and loving world, but how many believe that the Arts practices are an important part of creating that?  Who of those protesting corruption, violence and environmental destruction will persist in advocating for the Arts?  It’s a connection not often made clear with of generations of programming about what gets desirable, monetized results in our industrialized society.  I believe the value of our artistic expression and creative thinking in general, is immeasurable, like the Self from which it emerges.  To protect the beauty, peace and joy in the world is to propagate the belief that the Arts are a vital lifeline for humanity.

The closest thing I know to marriage is my commitment to artistic expression.  Perhaps this marries me to all of humanity.  And like all marriages, it is the choice to renew the vow on a daily basis that makes the commitment real.  Today, I vow to honour my wacky artist self and persist in arts practices.  What do you do to strengthen your Artist?

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