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.