Just like children, anyone who regularly engages in the work of art develops a life filled with wonder, yearning, flow, and serious play all over the place. For a long time, I thought this was childish but I know now that this is maturity. When I let my inner self free and stay in the moment, incredible art is created. When I can stay in this place of wonderment, these created pieces of art (which can take the form of friendships, work projects, health, new ideas, etc.) further conceptualize.
Maturity is not the sagacity to know the "right" answers or to appear unfazed by the ups and downs as much as it is the capacity to tolerate paradoxes and complexities, to grow within them. Such maturity provides the strength to hold onto long term goals throughout the jitterbug of ongoing process, to adhere to overarching themes even as we are engrossed in the details. Maturity allows us to hold conflicting values and ideas and at the same time, combine them in productive, innovative ways.
Artists recognize that the world is inherently paradoxical. We all confront and cope with the intolerable, the irreconcilable, the impossible in life. Holding two different realities at the same time requires a metaphoric or disbelief-suspending point of view. If we can use the metaphoric mind to accomplish this, to find a way in which a slip of the tongue is both accidental and intentional, we get a much deeper grip on life.
Artists, spiritual teachers, and religions have always used paradox as a tool to expand the status quo, to dislodge entrenched viewpoints, to explore other ways of thinking.
Here's the good news, friends: LIFE and ART are inseparable. We're all artists! Being an artist is a mental state. An artist is someone who is continually learning. To question yourself is artistic. To be an artist is not to do art but to be art.
"All the deeds of life are creative, and bear within them the inner lifelight, potentially. Artists need to see in this way. Lifting things and beings of the world into lifelight, or offering ourselves to them so that may catch light from our inner flame, is artistic activity, is human activity." M.C. Richards
Devote yourself to the act of creating something today.
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