We were in Paris for two weeks at a stretch and after hitting some of the fabulous tourist spots – The Sacre Coeur, The Palais Garnier, The Notre Dame Cathedral – thought, we would cover every arrondissement by metro, tram and bus. Why? You may well ask. I can only shrug and say it seemed like a good idea at the time.
To suffer for one’s art has long been taken for granted as the only way to succeed. Monetary gain for any kind of artistic or creative work can to some be outrageous and unforgivable. Artists who demand high prices are frowned upon for being too money orientated as if they are sullying the arts profession by prostituting their own style and talents. Art for money is not considered to be the acceptable primary directive as we should all be purists in heart and mind manifesting our art for the satisfaction of being able to express ourselves through our chosen medium.
There are many reasons why writers write. Some have a story that simply has to be told, others like to create worlds that can be shaped and molded by their own thoughts and desires. Regardless of the reason, the end product is not just ink on paper or words on a screen; the final product is a blue print that can be used as inspiration for more ideas and a driver of innovation and technology that can be developed further at some point in the future.
Saturday, my husband followed our GPS to a conference center bordering the inner city of St. Louis. He drove our four door, sandy colored Chevy. I sat on the passenger side, gripping an imaginary safety handle to make me feel more secure. The day was dull, cold and cloudless. Slight rain began to bubble on our windshield. My cell phone rang. “Hello,” I said. It was my forecaster son, calling to warn me of the freezing rain ahead. “Be careful,” he said.
Cultures all over the world have individual artistic expressions that set them apart. One of these unique gifts that varies between people groups is the art of dance. African tribal dances began to shape and define their culture long before it transferred to America. Modern day African American dance has been revolutionized into a creative expression of talent and movement. These exceptional stylistic qualities can be seen in specialized dance companies like that of Alvin Ailey. The heart and soul that comes out through their artistic talents compels generations everywhere.
Language and culture are inter-woven in our normal lives, but the depth or the centre point, from where all the imagination and creativity originates in the form of art and literature, is obscured in the hidden layers of the unconscious self. It is from the deepest layer of the self where all the diversity of life springs. At the same time, it is the focal point, or an ultimate abode, for diverseness becoming oneness of being.
I have often tried to encourage my children to read. They are boys. They clamber on furniture, roll on rugs, tear into their surroundings secure in the knowledge that the new dawn will have reined in the chaos, cleared the debris they scatter wherever it may fall, with fresh ground for play. I want them to be still for a bit. Sit down, I want to say to them. Sit down and get acquainted with the passing thought, the laughter before it leaves the throat, the sigh before it escapes your lips. Having learned the art of sitting still, you can move.