that which saves your life will often kill you and other thoughts on art, the gateway drug
My father died on father’s day. Urg, such a loaded day
for that reason. We had a great time with friends and kids and family and then
a childfree date to see a play about Lester Bangs which was great. The play brought
us into a conversation about how people can be so passionately into something
and how it can destroy them, I have a saying that often the thing that “saved
you life” as a kid, often will kill you, because it is just another coping
device, thought up by a kid, that won’t work in the end. Ultimately you have to
do the personal work to break the ties that bind, yes?
I also like to say that art is a gateway drug. Passion
about art gets us into self expression and again saves us, changes us, gives us
some freedom and options, but it is not enough. Many a successful artist is
miserable on the personal level. Happiness and peace and enlightenment to kindness
and purpose are never due to the money, fame, success, or passionate opinions.
The two facets of success are not linked. The personal happiness always comes
back to the personal work, whatever that might look like for you.
So it made me think of my father who was a beautiful
talented cabinet maker and made the finest mid century modern furniture, which
was a path towards expression, that might have been a gateway to more evolution
and enlightenment, but he left that field to work construction to support us
and have health insurance, which was an important value to my parents. He was successful
in providing for us, which was a gift, and he sacrificed a lot to do that. I
miss my father today. I appreciate the gifts he gave me. I give myself credit
for not falling into the family pattern and “marrying my father” not marrying a
man like him. I worked hard to get out of the cycle and have more consciousness
and choices. And I love my amazing husband who is a great father. And I appreciate
all of the great artists (music, film, everything) who may or may not have been
happy but gave me the great gift of their expression, made me feel less alone, taught
me about the world and about the potential of humanity. Thank you, thank you,
thank you, one and all.
Wishing you all peace and happiness and the evolution of
your soul. You are not alone and not the only one who feels that way.