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In the Beginning
It's only mystery, and I like it...
I am thrilled, excited, terrified, to be starting this project, which is what? I will try to say what it is, with as much clarity as I can.
I want to engage in the process of writing as a way to explore my experience. I want to use words and pictures to tell stories. I want to experiment with form and content in sharing my work with you. I want to find the courage to create without too much self-doubt, too much fear, too much ego. I want to accept the fact that fear, ego and self-doubt will always be with me, without letting that stop me. I want to make art.
However deep, private and solitary my process of artmaking is, I want to share what I make. Not with everyone; with people for whom my work has interest and value. I have no real control over this… I do love the concept of a self-selected audience, though.
What is meaningful and maybe even transformative for me in sharing my work is that it encourages me to negotiate a balance within myself between reaching out to actual humans with love, and also having the courage to explore, experiment and bring forth what is within me without worrying about whether or not anyone will like it.
In other words, I want the courage to make art.
Making art is not making an argument. It’s not creating simplicity by stripping away everything that doesn’t fit into a predetermined paradigm or box. Art is a hologram, a story, a sum greater than its parts… something with observable form that, like Walt Whitman, contains multitudes. And not only multitudes, but magic.
The magic is that the story, the poem, the song, the dance, the painting, the cartoon, the sculpture—all art forms—offer a bridge into a world where new awareness, new synthesis, new integration, can come into being, for the maker and the receiver. When I say ‘all art forms’ I mean any manifestation that arises from the creative source.
My project is a big, messy bunch of ideas and plans. It is a few different projects that are all connected by this blog as the meta project. This is the place where I can humble myself to an honest accounting of process—mind, body, spirit. In doing so, I hope to encourage others to give themselves all the space in the world and beyond to live and breathe and become. To think, to feel, to act. To make art. To be art.
What is my niche?
niche | niCH, nēSH |
From the dictionary on my computer:
1 a comfortable or suitable position in life or employment
2 a specialized segment of the market for a particular kind of product or service
I would dearly love to attain that #1 meaning of the word ‘niche.’ #2 is used a lot in the arena of internet advice for how to create a business or presence on the internet. You are instructed to identify your niche.
While it is true that there is power and velocity in a narrow focus, and also true that there is clarity and comfort for the consumer who knows exactly what they are getting, the way I see it, my niche is myself. We are all niches. We all have the specificity dictated by our DNA and ancestry and environment and every other particularity that makes us who we are.
Accepting yourself as a niche is scary because you can’t pin yourself down like a dead butterfly in a glass case. Nosiree. Your very own niche is more like that butterfly that flaps its wings and changes the course of events on the other side of the world.
So, part of my experiment here is to trust that I don’t have to identify a niche; that I can just be myself and it will add up to something.
I am not going to send everything I post to my subscribers in its entirety. Sometimes I will make a post and then link to it so that you can read it if you want to. Here is a reworked piece, originally published on Medium, that I posted this week:
What comes next…
There is so much I don’t know yet. I’m planning to send a new email/post approx once a week, though I will not stick to that if I don’t feel that I have something that I am ready to share. I don’t want to put myself in the position of phoning it in.
I welcome your comments, either in the comment function on this platform, or as an email sent to me directly. Thanks so much for being here now.
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