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Art is a Life Raft

--by George S. Clinton (Aug 04, 2014)


Art is a life raft. Many who become artists did so because they found refuge in art from some traumatic aspect of their early lives. I know I did. For me, it was about finding a safe creative space from which I could weather the stormy emotional seas of having an alcoholic father. It actually was through that creative process that I became aware of the healing aspects of it and in the end was able to forgive him and even love him for the man he was trying to be outside the disease. This has been the case for me throughout my life.

I don’t remember her name, but a young blind pianist once said “music is what feelings sound like.” Another quote I recall is “music is the point where the spiritual and the emotional meet.” All art is a window into another point of view. When we experience art it is a communion between the artist and beholder. We get to see through their eyes, and hear through their ears. In fact, all we really have in life is our own particular and unique point of view. I wrote a small verse about it called “Blip.”

My blip is all I have
My fleeting point of view.
I am over in an instant and then
Blip—so are you.

Art has the power to connect us and that creates the potential for empathy which can lead to acceptance which can lead to love and even forgiveness. My creative life has given me solace, inspiration, release, insight, opportunity. I am continually transformed by it. In fact we all create our lives everyday. When you stop to think about it, our lives are just one big improvisation. Even in the routine of daily life we are improvising—our conversations, thoughts, actions, and even emotions are being “made up” as we go along. That’s not to say we can’t plan ahead, but even then we adapt to the moment once it comes. I guess in that regard, life is jazz—improvising through time and space while anticipating and reacting to the changes. We are all artists creating on a daily basis that art which is our lives.

George S. Clinton is an American composer, songwriter, arranger, and session musician. This writing is excerpted from Love, Live, Forgive.

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17 Previous Reflections:

 
On Aug 5, 2014 david doane wrote:

 For me, art comes primarily from the right brain.  When I hang loose, tune into my intuition, my primary process, my fantasies and free associations, I'm in the realm of art.  I'm not very artistic in music or drawing, but I do see myself as sometimes creative in my expressing myself verbally or in writing, and when I am, those are artistic experiences for me.  During those experiences, I am spontaneous and surprise myself.  Such creative artistic expressions are a life raft in that they keep me from drowning in dead water.  They keep me alive.  They are a life raft that breaks the humdrum or hypnosis of the expected way of seeing things and introduces my blip, my point of view, which is freeing and transforming for me and sometimes also for others around me.  I am more alive and whole during such experiences, and they help me heal.



1 reply: Yelena | Post Your Reply
On Aug 5, 2014 Donna Ernst wrote:

Art is sometimes salvation.  Two and half years ago I opened a community art studio so any can find- peace, release, acceptance, self worth, creativity and joy.  Art was and continues to be my 'zen' and I love giving others an accepting creative place to explore and find theirs.  



1 reply: Nilam | Post Your Reply
On Aug 5, 2014 Lisa Hughes wrote:
 I am a counselor for a homeless older population in transition and I introduced the art of Mandala making for healing and renewal. The other day I went to work and found a resident who is suffering from cancer drawing and coloring his second mamdala, and then two women had a beautiful wall of hope and transformation in their room of mandalas and told me how doing this art has really helped them to get through and find solace and hope! I love art and all it can do to release the demons of the soul and to let in the light again.! It was amazing for me to see the impact that I have made with this simple yet trasfromational art.
 

On Aug 5, 2014 citizyn wrote:

"Art", one way of documenting things, in life.....  seed questions: 1) ..when you have trouble expressing yourself with words, for any given reason... 2) in the fourth grade, when we went to the museum and the immpressionist works were on exhibit, and I felt like I belonged to something when I saw them, 3) I love how it feels when a make a stroke, with a brush, just in general; all the time.
,
 



On Aug 5, 2014 Avriane wrote:

 One day many years ago I exited the building where I was working at the time, and stood waiting to cross the street and hurry to some meeting. There was a lot of traffic and I was watching the cars pass. Then, from one car, came the sound of a soprano voice singing some hauntingly beautiful aria. At that moment, the world fell away, everything fell away and it was a moment of pure, pure bliss and heaven. It pulled me from the street pavement and made me wake up fully in those few moments. The day was completely changed..... Grateful, grateful for art and beauty.



On Aug 4, 2014 rakeshpoddar wrote:
I dont know much about art but its true i draw inspiration from the self less act which is art ,music and try to put into my passion sports which has given me everything its true too that lot of people say that sports is also art and culture 
 

On Aug 1, 2014 Abhishek Thakore wrote:

Beautiful and can deeply connect
To me, all art is perfect
Art gotta be on every bucket list
Methinks each one gotta be an artist :)

The act of expressing my inner reality has helped me keep sane in my darkest hours - and art to me is one of the most beautiful things that makes us human.....Artists are sensitive souls who choose to challenge, question, express and articulate in a language beyond words....

Art is the way....to me life is itself a work of art (a post modern multi-media installation, typically Untitled)

Yes. I agree :)



On Aug 1, 2014 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 Art IS a life raft, not only for ourselves but if we share our creativity it is a life raft for others too. As a Cause-Focused Storyteller, I have used Story to build bridges between peoples, to offer healing, to resolve conflicts & I have shared my own wounds (being bullied in school, challenging childhood, health challenges) in order to serve others to know they are not alone in their life experiences. This reaching out enlarges the life boat so that the healing extends beyond us. There have been so many experiences where art transformed me; whether my own art or the art of another reached into me. As a teenager Theatre saved me, it was a wonderful vehicle to transform the pain. lonliness & discomfort of a dysfunctional homelife (my father was severely depressed, often out of work & tried to kill himself 5 times before I was 22, my brother turned to alcohol & my Mother although she did the best she could was not really present for us two teens). Theatre was a r  See full.

 Art IS a life raft, not only for ourselves but if we share our creativity it is a life raft for others too. As a Cause-Focused Storyteller, I have used Story to build bridges between peoples, to offer healing, to resolve conflicts & I have shared my own wounds (being bullied in school, challenging childhood, health challenges) in order to serve others to know they are not alone in their life experiences. This reaching out enlarges the life boat so that the healing extends beyond us. There have been so many experiences where art transformed me; whether my own art or the art of another reached into me. As a teenager Theatre saved me, it was a wonderful vehicle to transform the pain. lonliness & discomfort of a dysfunctional homelife (my father was severely depressed, often out of work & tried to kill himself 5 times before I was 22, my brother turned to alcohol & my Mother although she did the best she could was not really present for us two teens). Theatre was a refuge, a place where I could become anyone I wanted to & I could also touch other's hearts. At the same time watching others perform & seeing how theatre could transform a painful situation into something useful was healing. Today as a Storyteller, I use sharing my own stories, Traditional Stories & stories of resilience from others who lived through challenges & came out the otherside as a way to offer healing and hope. Sharing my own journey through body image issues & bouts with Depression have served to lift others too & have released the shame/secret from within. Thank you for posting this article! HUGS from my heart to yours and here's to ART serving as a Life Raft for so many. 

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On Aug 1, 2014 Jagdish P Daveh wrote:

 Art has been a connector and refuge for me. My father was a poet and devotional singer. He was singing from his heart. His poems and singing evoked deep feelings in us and moved us. He was the the song and he was the music.The listeners became one as it were. The devotional music was an emotional and spiritual experience for us. I feel the same way when I listen to  devotional music touching my heart. As a young man, when my heart was broken, poems and songs that resonated deeply with me, helped me feel my sadness deeply and fully. It was a very therapeutic experience for me. And when I found the love of my life, poems kept pouring from my heart and our life felt like a song. And when I lost the love of my life, the devotional music that I used to listen to when I was a child came back and held me in the loving hands of my father. I feel the comforting, soothing and inspiring energy by listening to devotional music and heart touching poems.  Ja  See full.

 Art has been a connector and refuge for me. My father was a poet and devotional singer. He was singing from his heart. His poems and singing evoked deep feelings in us and moved us. He was the the song and he was the music.The listeners became one as it were. The devotional music was an emotional and spiritual experience for us. I feel the same way when I listen to  devotional music touching my heart.

As a young man, when my heart was broken, poems and songs that resonated deeply with me, helped me feel my sadness deeply and fully. It was a very therapeutic experience for me. And when I found the love of my life, poems kept pouring from my heart and our life felt like a song. And when I lost the love of my life, the devotional music that I used to listen to when I was a child came back and held me in the loving hands of my father. I feel the comforting, soothing and inspiring energy by listening to devotional music and heart touching poems. 

Jagdish P Dave






 



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