Be Open

Someone at work said this to me last week. We were talking about what’s been happening in my life as far as my artwork is concerned, and she said I should be open to whatever could happen. This may sound rather undefined to you, but there were strings within my being that vibrated with, and kept reverberating to her words. How could she know that this is a constant entreaty I make to Life: help me be open. Awake, and open.

You use a glass mirror to see your face: You use works of art to see your soul.   ~George Bernard Shaw

Art, like poetry, can take an idea, a feeling, an issue, and distill it to its essence; present it to viewers in such a way that they get a sense of surpassing their individual limitations, of glimpsing something through the eyes of the Soul.

But many artists have expressed their amazement at the fact that through the process of art making, they get glimpses of their own soul.

Art is, quite literally, a spiritual practice, a way of opening to Life and Love, of putting the ineffable in a physical form. This does not take genius, or even superlative artistic talent. It does take openness, dedication, and a willingness to follow what one has seen, heard, and felt. To let it be expressed. As many heroes in fiction, and “real” life, have demonstrated, succeeding is wonderful, but often just trying is enough. Making the attempt. Daring to do something, make something, say something. And when success is not achieved, being open enough to try again, and keep on trying. Against all odds, as the saying goes.

I call it the Frodo Effect. The “I am only ordinary, but I am open to doing what I am called to do, and so may be instrumental in achieving something extraordinary” effect.

Be open.


About CarolWiebe

Art entices, inspires, and delights me. Art is a vehicle for laughter, tears, wonder, enlightenment--taking me on a constant path of discovery. You can't say that about housework (except, perhaps, for the crying part).
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3 Responses to Be Open

  1. Ed says:

    I couldn’t agree more with your words, inspirational post! Thank you. For me art is a spiritual practice, and is a window to my soul like you say. If only someone could pay me to just paint, and I would never need to sell anything and never had to work for someone else…. Well I can dream anyways.

  2. carolwiebe says:

    Thank you, Ed. I am reading a book called “I’d rather be in the studio,” by Alyson B. Stanfield, that is a real impetus for why, if you want to live the artist’s life full time, you have to learn to sell and promote your work. This is a new adventure for me–I’ve always resisted that aspect of being an artist. But I’m taking it up as a challenge: to do it with the same focus, integrity and passion that I bring to my artwork.

  3. carolwiebe says:

    Mary published a lovely reply to this post. Thanks, Mary!

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