Art is a personal act of courage, something one human does that creates change in another.
Seth Godin, Linchpin
I wanted to just write a quick post with some images and call it a night… to not share what’s really going on or what happened today, but this quote won’t let me… so I write the following with courage as a gift in hopes that it will create change in another…
I never considered myself an artist in the traditional sense, i.e. someone who draws or paints. I have always known I was creative and thrive in environments that provide me creative freedom. Somehow Linchpin is connecting with a hidden place in my soul that I keep protected from the outside world. Seth is calling my bluff and asking me to reach in deep to give the creative gifts that I hold back… and I’m afraid.
I believe I’ve mentioned holding back in an earlier article and one reader asked what I could possibly be holding back since it seems that I put myself out there a lot. After holding back tears reading Linchpin, I’ve become even more aware that there is more mining I must do in order to give and share, in order to be spent at the end of my days, instead of hiding and hoping no one notices I haven’t given it all.
That makes me think of Jesh de Rox and how photographers describe him as an open soul, leaving his heart out on the floor, of being willing to be wrung out. I think of the way he sang at his Beloved workshop at WPPI and shared not only his photography and images, but the music within his soul.
I’m reminded of how closely I guard my emotions and hide my heart when I fear its unsafe (which is almost always). If I sense any threat, I immediately withdraw and shut down, emotionally, creatively, even physically crawling under the covers and willing the night to come so I can hide beneath its dark black veil. Today was one of those days.
Someone didn’t give thought to the weight of their words… they threw them out like so many knives searching for open flesh to wound. They found their mark, the wounded wound others. I know the drill, I’ve been through it before, but the flesh still bleeds and the words hold power, more power than I want them to hold…
I want to throw them off, let them slide like water off a duck’s back, but I haven’t learned how and so the words stick and sting… I give them more power than they deserve. The artist puts down her brush, stops painting the vision, and crawls back into the cave. Defeat. Failure. Retreat.
I’m calling to you from my cave… never underestimate the power of your words. Is it a coincidence that yesterday I wrote about the power of life and death being in our words… or is it another lesson? I believe it’s a lesson this creative heart needs to learn, to push through the pain, to continue painting the vision until the hand can no longer hold the brush.
Instead of a brush, today I created with sandpaper and ink, a journal that captured what I felt, that would give me the courage I needed to continue expressing my art because it is all about the recipient, not the casual or disconnected observer. My art is for the audience that waits to see what is next, that needs what I have to offer, not for the heckler, the critic, the destroyer.
- That audience is the teen girl who stared at the image I had taken of her because she couldn’t believe how beautiful she was… she was seeing her true beauty for the first time, through my eyes, my lens.
- That audience is the teen girl who looked at herself in the mirror for the first time in a year because we shared the message of true beauty and true value with her and it changed how she saw herself.
- That audience is you when you join the tasra365 photo challenge and begin to transform your images, your vision, and your life through discipline, courage, and commitment.
- That audience is you when you read an article that resonates deep within your soul, enough to inspire you to share your gift with the world, to encourage you to reconnect with your inner artist, and spur you on to the next challenge.
At the end of the day, the black of night will come, but morning brings hope that some day people will realize the power of their words to bring life or death to those around them.
My sincere request and hope is that you will bring life to all you meet…