Through the stresses of the last couple of years, I’ve developed a daily meditational routine. Although it hasn’t removed any of the stressors, it has worked wonders in helping manage it. Through this period of time, I’ve come to discover something absolutely beautiful - and ultimately it’s what makes every form of art beautiful.
Every morning I go to the same quiet spot. There are mornings where the sun is dancing through the leaves as they gently wave in the breeze as random shafts of light. Perhaps that is the ultimate definition of a perfect morning. There are mornings when the fog is a thick soup, painting the entire surrounding in a monochromatic haze. There are mornings when it’s raining, or the cold wind rips through you, or it’s snowing… and that is where the beauty comes in; it’s the seemingly endless array of variables resulting in the mesmerizing tranquility of the painting that I walk into every morning. It is never the same.
As someone who typically likes some form of order and consistency, this (especially to my stress) has been transformative. I could try to control or manage the variables so that every time I walk into that painting it’s perfect - but what would I be missing?
It has gotten to the point that I’m actually looking for and finding comfort in the things that are different, as opposed to the elements that stay the same.
Ultimately, this is one of the key reasons art is essential. It is leaning into the unknown and finding brilliance in the things that make that current work of art uniquely exquisite. I’m sure some of you are like me: with some of my paintings there is literally only a single brushstroke, or seemingly only a square mm of a brushstroke that reaches that level - but we should embrace it, and learn from it, nonetheless.
The question I’ve been pondering - Can I relinquish that desire to control everything, to be able to fully enjoy and be in the moment?
Isn’t this the true brilliance of going to watch live music? If you wanted to hear the musician’s studio version, that is easy, certain and dependable. But when it’s live… it all uniquely blends into that distinct moment. The energy of the crowd, the size and acoustics of the space, the mood of the artist, whether they just had a fight before going onto the stage - all of it meshes together and ultimately it is going to end up being as incredible as you want it to be; because we are the ultimate variable. If you’re looking for it, the results are going to be uniquely wonderful.
When we learn to look for the beauty in the untold variables, we’ll see it.
A lot has changed in the last couple of years, and perhaps that is the biggest stressor of them all. Yet we can find the beauty in it if we start looking for the unique brilliance in every encounter, every smile, and each simple hello. If we start reconnecting with each other and seeing the beauty in the countless variations of mood, attitude, perspectives, hopes, dreams and aspirations - you’ll really quickly realize that we truly walk through the most inspiring and beautiful painting every day. And the more that we choose to lean into that, the more amazing those brushstrokes will become, the more connected they will all be to each other and the more we’ll learn to appreciate how glorious life’s painting is when the full spectrum blends together.
For a while we have been using the tag line ‘art is essential’ and it is. Primarily, we are creative creatures and we need to create. It is essential to mental health. Creativity is a muscle that needs to be exercised like any other muscle group, so it’s ready to go when you need it the most. Art also provides a unique lens to see the world, and though it’s said art is subjective, this statement still holds true. We also need to accept that we are the variable - if you are looking to see beauty, you will see it, if you are looking to be critical, you will succeed at that too.
Today, as you step out into life’s ever moving and flowing painting, choose to see the beauty, embrace it, and share that gratitude - it will amaze you how many brilliant brushstrokes there are in even the gloomiest of days.
And when you add your unique brushstroke to that painting, you could change someone’s life - most notably your own.
Just keep creating.