Art as War (part 5)
So there is no more thrilling thing in the Universe than to be a part of the spirit of your age, to be central to the definition of your era, to walk in the fervency of the times, understanding them and executing within them. Ease & alignment.
There is a sense of momentum in such times that is simply irresistible. It’s as though the cup of time is being poured out and the power inertia has taken over. All that is left is sweet surrender to the current, the magic of providence.
No matter how we may try to take credit for such strides of momentum, we no sooner have it than lose it. Suddenly, with a crashing halt, everything stops. Adrenal fatigue or even shut down. We have somehow gotten out of the river that is still going.
This is why rest is so incredibly difficult for creatives. They are used to being fully engaged in the river, or in creating a flow in the river (or perhaps unblocking the river’s flow). When out of the river, there is a void of life, a lack of thrill.
This is why and where balance for the artist is essential. Although staying in the flow of the river is intoxicating, it is toxic. In for too long means danger to the very things that introduced us to the river. We have to get out to save our ability to contribute to it.
“Getting out” happens in many ways. Sometimes it is a family tragedy of some sort. Sometimes a natural disaster. Things far out of our control remind us that there is a world outside our heads. Being human means caring in such times.
Generally creatives are not the best care-givers. We are focused on our primary goal: creating. Sacrificing time for this expression can bottle up too many things needing to come out. We can become at that point no good to anyone, including ourselves.
This of course is the primal fear in “getting out” at all. “If I get out, I may not get back in. Or I may find that I like it out better.” There is of course a risk, but remembering we are human and caring for others is worth the risk. It will make us better artists.
Doing it for that reason, however, will dilute compassion into cheap grace, distant connection, and lousy care. We need to be fully present in the moments that life gives us. We need to embrace our humanity. How else can we expect to create art?
In embracing humanity art has powerful potential to unite it. Of course there are many divisions, like in anything, when it comes to particular tastes, preferences and opinions; but there is something particularly unifying as well, even with that reality.
Art reminds us and facilitates an experience for the audience with our humanity. It draws us into an observation of important realities, ones that would otherwise go un-noticed or unappreciated. Art is deep calling to deep.
The artist‘ soul bared is literally calling to others. The intensity to which he discovers and illuminates in art is ultimately the experience possible for connected audiences. The best moments of live performance come when both experience the creative.
The creative process is strongly compelling, luring even bystanders into a hair-on-the-neck standing up experience. There is just something about those moments that are undeniable. Regardless of genre or venue, the creative process gets through.
At least, of course, that is the goal - the most beautiful thing: when audience and artist are united in the process of receiving and creating. Life comes bubbling to the top with Tsunami force, and then with the most gentlest of breezes. Oh to experience that again.