Last night, I finished this week's Journal 52 page (you can read more about J52 and this week's prompt HERE)...just under the wire...but I did it!
This page had a long and odd progression, let me tell you. What you see now is a FAR cry from what I started out thinking of:
|"A tranquil place in a colorful existence"|
...it was interesting to me how, like this page, our lives often end up no where near what we thought they'd be. Even as I sat writing the journaling on this page, a tranquil place in a colorful existence, I thought I was writing about some imaginary future place...some place I might get to someday. But when I started to think about it, I realized I already have it...
Someone once told me that the only reason I'm creative is because I don't have a life. And I believed him. I took his word as truth and internally bemoaned the fact that I didn't have a real life and started to feel sad about my artistic endeavors, because they were a sign that my life was less than everyone else's.
It took me a while to see it, but he was wrong. He couldn't be more wrong.
My life isn't what I imagined, but who's is? I'm sick, I struggle, I have to work hard...but it's a good life.
My creativity isn't a sign of a lack of living, but a sign that I see life like very few people do.
If you think about it, as artists, we see everything differently. We find shape and color and pattern in whatever is around us. We see beauty that others consistently miss. When I walk around, I don't have my eyes stuck to my phone, I look up and actually see the world around me. When I get home from work, I don't plop down in front of the TV and zombify, I sit at my desk with a brush in hand and transcribe all the glorious things I saw that day, whether anyone else can see it in my work or not.
I go to my job and I talk with people all day long who have lives similar to mine, but so vastly different that it's jaw-dropping. I see lives and ways of thinking and motives that are so dissimilar from my own...but I see them, I understand them, I know what makes them the way they are. I take influence from the people around me and put it into my art.
As creative types, we see things differently, and we think differently as well. That's a gift, not a curse. I could never be content to live a 'normal' life...there is no such thing. I could never be a 'normal' person...again, there is no such thing. Even if there was, I still wouldn't want to be like everybody else...I mean, have you seen everybody else?
I think many people go through life with their eyes half closed, seeing only what they want to see. As artists, our eyes are so wide open...we have no choice but to take it all in...and then we have the task of translating it for the rest of the world. In small doses, we show people what they never knew they saw.
Cesar Cruz said "Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable." That's true, I think, and that's real power. We have the ability to make people stop and look at things in another way. How amazing is that?
So, no, my life isn't what I imagined. I go to work, I come home, I make art. To people looking in on that, it might seem as though I'm not really living at all. But, my fellow artists, you know just how wrong those people are. We get to hear, and feel, and see, and generally experience life on a level no one else does. We see what's there, and we see what's hidden behind it. We live our lives, however mundane they might seem, with a heightened sense of awareness. And, to me, that is truly living.
I already have my tranquil place in a truly colorful existence. I won't let anyone blur my vision again.