Happy New Year! Well, not quite...but it's the spring (already!) and many of us are thinking about a new season, with fresh green grass, spring's flowers, the crisp breeze, perhaps even spring cleaning (of home, dorm room, exercise routine, practicing...so many things!)...Short of making a laundry list of springtime resolutions, I'm sharing a few thoughts that seem to be unshakably present at this time of new beginnings as I listen to the birds chirp:
1. No matter what we do or do not do in life, let's be artists. Let's live in a way that makes us conscious of giving to others, sharing our art (whatever we create this day) just for the sake of connecting with someone else, and receiving their art in return. Make the world a better place by doing something artistic today and connecting to ourselves, to others, and to the act of making art...of being alive.
2. Let's be kind to ourselves and to each other. For a variety of reasons, no one ever truly knows what a person may or may not be experiencing. Rather than limiting our contributions to the day, let's try to first consider sending our energy and art out, rather than keeping it in. Worry not about whether it is good - it just IS. So let it BE, and send it forth!
3. Like No. 2, even if we don't feel ready, let's take a small step forward - just one - outside our respective comfort zones. Thinking of helping someone else may help us be brave enough to stretch, even just a bit. The alternative is just existing, of missing out on life. What are we waiting for? Few things are ever "done" or "ready enough" or "the right time."
4. Choose and use that oxygen mask. Many people can recite the basic safety procedures we hear on flights regarding the order of placing our oxygen mask over our own mouths first before proceeding to assist others. I'm guessing most parents struggle with that instruction, and that many of us don't necessarily follow that order in realistic or common daily activities. When we think about it, however, we will be of little use to someone else if we pass out from lack of that life-giving force, oxygen. That rush of air invigorating our own systems will enable us to reach out to another. Isn't that at the heart of art's role, of communication?