As chaos unfolds around us, many of us are forced to adapt…quickly. We are in a time that requires us to recreate our lives, and in doing so, no better place to look then the artist’s process, as artists create every day. We can come to view our lives as blank page – terrifying, yet exciting. We delve deep into the messy process, fine tune our mistakes, and then finally we are unfinished products of our own creation, simply because life is imperfect impermanence. Life is never set; it is a constant cycle of recreation.
There are unprecedented times in our lives when we need to start from scratch…a blank canvas. In today’s uncertain times, many of us sheltering at home with or without jobs it can be real frightening. We ask, “What will become of us? How can we carry on in this new world?”
This isn’t the New World Order many of us predicted. This wasn’t the change many hoped for. Change is supposed to be a positive endeavor, right? Why is this so hard?
Mother Nature in conjunction with the Universe threw humanity a curve-ball. We have not been listening, and now we are forced to change our lives and in doing so change the course of humanity as a whole, and there is nothing we can do but go with its flow.
So, here we sit in our homes, many staring at reruns on television, dreaming of the day when life can get back to normal, however, our normal has changed. We need recreate and we can take our lessons from artisans, for the process of creating a piece of artwork, or writing a book, is no different than creating our lives.
The Blank Page
It is always a bit frightening to stare at a blank canvas, artwork or life, for that matter. Even if we have an idea or plan as to what we will create, questions swirl around our minds, “How do I start? What if I make a mistake? What if the end result is terrible?”
Panic strikes our hearts, and yet in its fervor there is excitement of a fresh start so we begin careful of every word we type, every struck of the brush.
In our lives, this can be as simple as a change of routine, or a complete and utter shake-up, which many are experiencing now. We approach with trepidation and hope.
Is a complete mess. Any artist or writer will tell us, the process is messy and never perfect. To read the first draft of any novel would give most readers a splitting headache. To view an unfinished painting often looks a jigsaw puzzle with missing pieces.
Through our journey of life, it is a complete mess…a disaster even, complicated by bad relationships, personal issues and world crisis, and we are all just processing as we live it. We go through it, making alterations and corrections as we go along, just as the writer edits and the painter touches up.
Once we wad through the messiness and bring it to some order, we can fix the problems which arose. The writer edits and even sends to an editor, their story now readable. The painter makes finer details bringing to life their creations.
As order is restored, we have the benefit of hindsight, what went wrong and why. We can sit in judgment, berating ourselves, or we can bless this process for the lessons it taught us. Few writers berate themselves for a typo they made during the earlier drafts, and even though a painter may still see the flaw in their creation, they have mastered the craft in such a way the viewer would never know they made a mistake. This is how we learn from artists. We make mistakes, we correct them, and we move on – flaws and all.
There is no such thing as a finished product. Every author will hold onto a published book wanting to fix sentence structure, a plot hole, or even major rewrites, and yet it has been released to the world. Most all painters will see their masterpieces wanting to make a change. Nothing is ever finished and nothing is ever perfect.
Our lives will never be finished, and one could argue our lives are finished when we die or carry on into the next. Regardless, we do not finish living. We will also look back wanting to make corrections, but here we all stand productions of our own creation. We are our own masterpieces.
Art as life is impermanent. As we go along creating, we can revise and change. We can edit our words, we can erase, we can paint over. However, what is true in art and life, we cannot predict outcomes. what appears on the page and the canvas is totally unexpected... good and bad.
Sure, we can get good enough to control the words we type, our brushstrokes, we can elevate ourselves to near perfection, but always there will be a surprise, something hidden in the process that shines through.
We are coming to a life that is unexpected. We awake each new day in this new world where we’re at sheltered at home. What do we create in this new experience? Are we frightened? Are we terrified? How do we move forward to recreate not only what is on our blank page, our blank canvas and our new lives?
Jennifer Ott is the author of many novels – fiction and non-fiction. Her latest WIP, Arise My Tribe is the story of a past life ancient Celtic healer who weaves her tale through that of a modern woman going through a crisis of the heart. Jennifer’s first entry into the spirituality was the study of Nada Yoga. Since then she has studied a multitude of meditation styles, spiritual philosophies and multi-cultural shamanic ceremonies. This holistic practice of spirituality aided greatly into the journey of soul discovery to realize the burden of past life karma.