Whenever I watch my husband paint, I marvel at his ability to look at something and reproduce it on canvas. That is a talent I do not have! During my teaching years there were times when I wanted to illustrate something on the white board, so I would draw stick figures. The students and I would laugh at my silly drawings, but I was keeping their attention, which was the goal. However, drawing and painting are only one form of art. Slowly, through time and experience, I realized the opportunities to be an artist were many and varied. Let’s look at a broadened perspective.
We are all artists simply by the fact that we are here on the planet. Our life is a work in progress which means we are offered a fresh canvas every morning. We can rewrite, redo, change color, edit, or start all over again each day. Sarah Ban Breathnach writes, “Art evolves. So does life. Art is never stagnant. Neither is life. The beautiful, authentic life you are creating for yourself and those you love is your art. It’s the highest art.”
An artist is someone who is carefully listening to inner inspiration, which comes from the creative energy of the Universe. Every daily choice becomes part of the tug between taking a risk or playing it safe. What would we like to do different today than we did yesterday? Is there something new we would like to try? Sarah Ban Breathnach offers this thought: “Each time you experience the new, you become receptive to inspiration. Each time you try something different, you let the Universe know you are listening. Trust your instincts. Believe your yearnings are blessings. Respect your creative urges.”
Well-done art takes thought and preparation. Our presence, our voice, our truth is needed in whatever form we can give. Stories of survival and triumph take on new beauty because of the courage and bravery on our daily canvas. Those of us with cancer experience understand the bright color, rough texture, and continually evolving shape of our lives. We create each day with patient longing and flexible emotion, solid hope and silent prayer, positive (or negative) attitude, and inner discernment. We create with healing tears, red scars, and sore raw skin. We create with the constant change cancer treatment brings, so what worked one day may not work the next. Leslie Odom Jr. writes, “One of the things I know for sure is: The issues of your life affect your work and the issues found in your work are showing up somewhere else in your life. This is a spiritual walk as well. Ask the questions. Go in search of the answers.” Creative living is a daily artistic miracle.
Often artists are unsung, but that does not diminish their art. Beauty does not depend on accolades. Each of us is working on what is uniquely ours to produce, and that means we are participating in the art of living. Meg Black writes, “I realized that it did not matter how old I was or how much money I needed or what people might think of my new efforts, I was in fact an artist, created by a greater power (in my case God) to be creative. What I am saying is that there is a spiritual energy available to all of us. It is in our DNA and all we have to do is activate it and use it.” Since we only have one life, let’s make our living on this planet a masterpiece of endeavor. It doesn’t matter if we make mistakes, that’s all part of art. It’s the doing that grows our souls.
I’d like to end with this quote from Tsh Oxenreider. “As you start this week, may you find a nugget of courage to do the hard thing your heart is aching to do. May you find enough freedom to do something brave and risky, something that taps that gift you were given but haven’t yet fully and outwardly exercised. We are all artists in some way, whether our media is watercolor, keyboard, food, camera, numbers, or diaper. What is the main thing keeping you from doing your art – is it time, money, courage, or encouragement? Do you have a voice this week telling you that your work isn’t important? May you combat lies with truth this week and may you dare to be you, in small ways and big. May you look in the mirror and in the words of your journal and love who you truly are. And may you find enough courage to acknowledge your artistry, and to recognize the ways your life teems with canvases.”
Until Next Time – Sylvia