I have reflected recently on how much insight artists seem to have on life. As they convey their own feelings, experiences and ideas through art they reach us in unexpected ways.
I used to think that I was primarily a philosophical thinker. While pursuing knowledge I began to feel like I was drying up so I picked up photography. I received so much affirmation from friends and family for my initial efforts that I began to lean back toward art as my primary form of expression. This may have been partially due to the fact that I was required to read and write for my education while art was purely voluntary and fun.
When I graduated from seminary and was no longer required to do so much writing I started to enjoy it again as a way to articulate what I was learning from life. Now I’m trying to find where these two vehicles of expression collide. I think and therefore I write. I feel and therefore I express. I want both my writing to convey art and my art to express truth.
At the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit I recently read that Harriet Beecher Stowe’s book Uncle Tom’s Cabin persuaded more people than all of the rest of the anti-slavery literature and speeches combined. This is the power of art in words.
While listening to Everything is Sound by Jason Mraz, I recently resonated with the Lyrics: “Whether it’s your birthday, or your dying day it’s a celebration to rejoice use your voice, and give wings to any your choice. Whatever you’re choosing right now, it’s right well where you are. You don’t need a vacation when there’s nothing to escape from.”
“Travel is a gift that is best enjoyed as a living experience rather than a reclusive escape.”
Such a positive outlook challenged me. Paul told the Thessalonians to always rejoice (1 Thess 5:16). From our birthdays to our dying days, God has given us much for which to rejoice and celebrate.
Somewhere along the way we forget that our choices give us a chance to spread our wings. We confine ourselves to merely surviving on the ground. This is about the time that I start need a vacation to escape. Travel is a gift that is best enjoyed as a living experience rather than a reclusive escape.
Unless we should think that Jason’s positivity is unrealistic poetry, he expresses later in the song that, “It’s a song that I’ve forgotten often. It doesn’t make wrong me wrong ’cause we all need the darkness to see the light in our own eyes.”
I have forgotten this song often but it is time to wake up and let the darkness I have experienced lend that much more value to the light in my life. Insights from artists have reached me again.