The following and all of the other episodes to come are snapshots of what goes on in my head, now and in the past. There are times none of this will make sense. There will be times when I might get lucky and the blog I post will be well constructed and will flow like a mountain stream to an awaiting lake below. Other times it will seem like the ramblings of a madman and you’ll ask yourself, “What the……?”
You should probably get used to the latter.
EPISODE TWO HUNDRED SEVEN: LIFE IS ART
It is only when we are no longer fearful that we begin to create.
― J. M. W. Turner
I suck at it.
When I was a kid, I tried and tried to draw. I had a couple of sketch books that I put through the wringer. They were bent and torn and dirty and I took them with me when the inspiration hit. I would draw in the front yard and the back yard, I would tuck the sketch book into the back of my pants and climb my favorite tree and draw until I got bored.
What did I draw?
Well, not much of anything. I tried to draw superheroes (horrible), I tried to draw animals (some were passible), and tried to draw vehicles (they were all clunky and squared off), and I tired to draw landscapes (there were a little better).
I watched friends of mine that could draw all of these things with greater style and talent and I was extremely jealous. I tried to copy what they drew and they were almost unrecognizable fifth cousins. I think I’d rather set my sketch book on fire than show anybody these attempts. I’d watch them begin a picture from a few scratch pencil lines and in a matter of minutes I’d see a cool sports car, a comic book character, or even a flower that you could almost smell. They were beautiful to me and I wanted to draw like them.
But, alas, what I saw with my eye, my hand could not recreate.
A few things I could draw that looked somewhat okay:
Ducks (I would draw duck after duck because when you saw them, you knew it was a friggin’ duck).
Owls ( I even got the completely honorable fourth place ribbon in fourth grade for drawing an owl… out of fifteen other kids)
Grassy hills with a sun setting/rising behind them (not great but alright)
But, that was about it…
And I still carried around my bent sketch books around as if I was suddenly going to stop and draw a work of art.
What I really wanted to draw was comic book characters. But, as I said, drawing those were horrible.
So, eventually, my sketch books stayed in my room in a desk drawer where they belonged. I felt it was the wisest decision. But as I look back on it from my advanced aged, I know that THAT was a wise choice. I eventually found that I was better creating scenes with words. I might have been like one of those kids that could really draw that I envied so much when I wrote stories (if I had shared my writings, of course).
I was lucky enough to find my creative outlet.
I think finding our creative talents, our God-given talents, can be hard. Sometimes, finding them within ourselves can be near impossible. There are those that have talents that never find them. You might find them quickly at an early stage or your parents see it before you do. Or you might discover them later in life and wonder why you (or somebody else) didn’t see it before. I found mine while in the seventh grade but I didn’t pursue it outside of my own bedroom or in a quiet moment at school because fear hindered me. Luckily, age tends to make those fear drop away and I started to put myself out there.
I believe it’s these things that give life true meaning. Art of all kinds bring us closer as humans. It can bring us closer to our gods or religion. Art can bring us closer to nature and what lies within it.
Art makes life worth living.
And if we can find an art that we’re good at or can get good at, we can get closer to others. And we can get closer to ourselves. Art can make you feel whole.
I wish I could go back and talk to my younger self when I was drawing and erasing and getting ticked off and ripping the page out of my sketch book and throwing it into the trash can. I wish I could sit down with myself and look into my tear streaked face and tell me that this isn’t what’s going to make you happy. I wish I could tell me that there was something that will make me happy and will be pretty good at. I’d like to tell myself that when I discover this for myself just a couple of years away not to hide it. Show people. Let others read what you write.
Sigh. But I can’t. I had discover it for myself.
And, honestly, I’m glad I can’t go back. I love how it all happened.
I might write about it someday.
So, you might be in the same boat. Maybe there’s something you want to do but no matter how you try and no matter how much you practice, you just can’t seem to get there.
It’s alright. We’re not supposed to do everything well.
Yes, I know practice will get you better at whatever you want to do. But we’re not here to do everything.
Look for your thing. It’s there inside you, waiting.
Art is life. That can be true.
But life is art. That is always right.
-Loyd Elmore Jr
October 22nd, 2021
I’ve decided to keep a blog about how I’m dealing with depression. I’m going to consider this a form of therapy. It might not help anybody else but it might help me.