23 January 2013

Art is God

I am only one chapter in to Wallace Stegner's Angle of Repose and "it" is happening again:  the overwhelming feeling of being redeemed, restored, revived....  Falling in love. Energized so thoroughly that I am consumed with a desire to create; to write and dance and make music and bread.

Simultaneously, awash with deep sadness and regret about the roads not taken in my life. My heart breaking for the girl I was, the dreams and bright burning passions I was persuaded to abandon...without being trapped by the sadness and plummeting into despair. Just an experience of being fully awake to that pain and seeing it not as my private pain but rather one expression of the collective human struggle.

And gratitude, like all of everything I am or have ever been opening wide in thankful praise to the power and beauty of heart-rending, eloquent Art.

Not that grumpy, unsettled "What's the big deal? I could have written/performed/said/etc. that..." kind of feeling. And not the "Wow! Amazing! There's no need for me to attempt anything -- this is so good, the rest of us can go home now" feeling.

It's like....like God, really. (The thought occurs this insight will prove useful in the sure-to-come next episode of being asked if I believe in God.) An encouraging sense of the boundless creative potential alive within humans and full conviction of the power of this creativity to redeem us.

It is "one thing" to read and understand and deeply appreciate the words of Toni Morrison or Picasso or Einstein about the power and importance of creativity within and among us. And I have experienced that "one thing" many times. A light goes on in my head and my heart strings are tugged.

But sometimes, as is the case with Angle of Repose, I feel my entire life illuminated, past and present. Veils of mystery fall away. Oh, such tender mercy extended to everyone, including myself, as, with complete humility, I admit the complexity and fragility of every exchange between we imperfect mortals.

Producing this caliber of art requires a devotion and discipline absent from my lifestyle at present. Reading writing this good moves me toward modifying my lifestyle toward more diligence, focus, commitment...

There's nothing else I know of that gives me this kind of energy and adjusts my attitude away from the disappointment and frustration of the last few weeks,

that makes me feel like I'm falling into Love

that allows the clearest view of what it is to be human

that restores my will to press on


like the intimate grandeur of making and consuming Art.