All day I had been planning a post about my response to gun violence. I have had a heavy heart, same as most, since Newtown. Today’s news of another school shooting in Taft, California left me with an even deeper need to try and make sense of the senseless. And I still plan to return to the topic in a later edition.
But for tonight, I have instead been moved to get mushy. Stay with me… You see, I forced myself off the couch this evening, after a long work day, coinciding with a heavy heart, in order to see a musician friend of mine perform before he takes off on another road tour. It was the best thing I could have done. Not that I’m a scientist or anything, but I would venture to guess that the experience literally altered the DNA in my soul. Here is what I (re)discovered, two-fold:
Fold One: There’s nothing sexier or more infectious than performers onstage, giving their full selves to you. And I mean that in the most platonic way, of course. I fall in creative-love with artists on a fairly regular basis. A piece of them, that is possibly only released onstage, makes them the most appealing people in the world at that moment in time. Those who are otherwise potentially awkward, shy, or slightly less than fully socially adept (most of us) become these otherworldly beings, rife with ‘I’m a God(dess)’ vibes when they step into that spotlight. I know you are most likely rolling your eyes right now, and saying to yourself, “Whut? No way. I have seen plenty of BAD artists who do not alter my chemical make-up and make me want to profess my art-crush for the whole world to hear.” And I feel you. I have had plenty of non-life-altering art experiences, too. (Even some that make me feel hopeless about the state of the arts.) I am instead referring to the set of artists who carry with them such a connection to their art that their souls literally GLOW when they are performing. (I told this to one of the artists last night – that she glowed. I also told her she was #awesomesauce. That’s how drunk with good-art-love feelings I became.) Anyways, I dare you to find a group of people, at the moment that they are doing what they love more than most other things in the world, who are hotter than artists. (I extend this definition to include more than just performing artists, to anyone who does creative work – visual artists, writers, culinary artists, etc.)
Fold Two: In that moment of being completely and totally overtaken by the joy of the performance, something that existed without me being conscious of how or why it was happening, I realized this was the solution to achieving world peace. Now granted, it becomes a bit more complicated than just getting everyone the world over to take part in some life-altering, spiritually-moving art. I get that. I am generally a very practical person, I want you to know. But tonight, tonight all of that practicality went out the window. I could SEE, or better yet FEEL how this level of connection could change the world. Just as it was changing me. We just have to be open and ready to let it change us. And that is of course where the challenge lies. Tonight I reaffirmed that it is my mission, in a less sappy than what you have just read, but always healthily idealized way, to connect people with art that will move them. Move them to becoming more human, humane, connected.
I suppose this IS my response to gun control after all: Let heART rule the world, dammit.
Here’s to another day of creativity…