Sunday, June 21, 2015

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.

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