Today is the Autumnal Equinox, one of two times during the solar tour when the days and nights are the closest of equal length. It’s a great time to reflect on the duality of life, on the yin and the yang, the shadow and the light within us all and how it pertains to leading a life of art. This is a time of balance, of being equal, a resting place of centeredness. Key to remember is that moments like this are fleeting, the day will pass over to imbalance and inequality, but are guaranteed to return someday again. We are part of a cycle, a continual source of rebegins.
Leading a life of art is not about being perfect. We are imperfect beings. There are even particular artistic styles which understand that and purposely place imperfections into their work so that it honors our nature! Sometimes Art portrays very ugly or unappealing visions as well, perhaps with very important messages for us to consider and recognize. And sometimes “ugly” events occur to good people that is beyond their control. How we experience and manage our interaction with those events however, is in our ability to control — to a certain degree.
Art is the language of life. Mother Nature (or God if you will) is the foremost teacher, embodiment, and master of the language of Art. But as we all know, nature isn’t always idyllic, organized, and pretty. She can be brutal, vicious, and downright ugly. Art doesn’t mean perfection or beauty, on the contrary, art has a much broader meaning, which encompasses the whole gamut of human experiences good and bad.
If you google your wiki - you just might find: “Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items (often with symbolic significance) in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect. It encompasses a wide range of human activities, creations, and modes of expression…etc.”
Indeed the definition of Art is rather broad, so in reality we ALL live our lives artistically in some way, shape or form. Living a life of art is a given – but my blog and what I seek in life is about how to be more conscious in how we view and experience artistic principles in our lives!
But human beings have vastly different aesthetics - what appeals to one person, doesn’t necessarily work for another. That’s where cultural and personality differences really come through. A person simply can’t live life trying to please everyone (and that has been a key lesson for me throughout my adult life). We must do what we can to grow as human beings, becoming sensitive to how we move through the world, aware of what type of Art is made through our interactions, and how employing different methods achieve different results.
Art connects us to the greater world and the to various processes of nature. It can alter our experience and help us to deal with challenging issues. It’s why I find art therapy to be one of the most healing things a person can do. There shall be moments when we seek and discover our balanced aspects and everything seems harmonious. But a life of art is a life that strives to pay attention to and be in tune with the cycles of life.
There is no light without the existence of the dark, but too much dark or too much light can be unhealthy for us. As we recognize and learn from the energies at play in our life, we can work to use them as source material for transforming and presenting another result. This is part of the artistic process of life. We strive for a productive place that mixes and balances those energies in different ways at different times.
Living a life of art is not just something we think “oh yes, when I get everything else that is important done, I’ll make time for art,” it’s a way of being that proclaims, “it is most important to live a life of art and then everything else falls into place.” To not make art, is to deny ourselves the opportunity to open up and communicate to the world, to move beyond issues and hardships. Without the art of life we cut ourselves off from our true potential and stagnate, we disconnect from the life force and source. There are occasions when physical medicines and therapies are required for a person’s health, but the power of the mind is very strong — and living a life of art and filling it with an active engagement in creative energy can affect our minds and souls in ways from the simply subtle to the sensationally sublime.