When our girl, our Composer of Music for Art, aging beautifully and full of wisdom, was younger, she had some very romantic notions about what the existence of an artist was all about. It was tied up, naturally, with some of the angst, the sturm und drang, of adolescence and early adulthood. The artist should feel her world, her experience, very deeply, and all the time. She should be open to everything and everyone. Everything is possible and everything is an option!
Of course our Creator makes it possible for us to deal with whatever suffering (Heaven forbid) or nonsense, or struggle we are going through. Feeling everything deeply, and all the time, takes a lot of energy! Obsession is a consuming affair. But teenagers and young adults, of course, are blessed with lots of energy to spare. And so our Lady did spend many years bubbling with endless passion, taking up everyone’s cause, spreading herself thin like sweet jam on a square of matzo. And somehow she also found time to write a little music.
But as the precious years clicked along, as our Girl’s own artistic goals and vision came into focus, as the challenges of life and survival staked their claims on our Girls productive capacities, she began understanding that feeling everything deeply, and all the time, might create some barriers to her productive work, her creative process. She began to understand her artistic existence was not only about experiencing deep feelings and life’s mysteries, but about sharing effectively with others. She began to comprehend that her happiness as a creative personality was tied to her capacity to SHARE her gift, not just to personally experience it.
And to share her gift, she needed to establish some limits, some boundaries. She needed to reserve time and energy for her work. She needed to reserve space in her mind for the work at hand, to commit fully to a concept, to a style – to achieve mastery for the sake of powerful works of great impact.
As you have grown in your artistic process – you have come to accept that this business of being an artist is just that – a business, an enterprise. You have learned to cultivate the skill sets that are not immediately associated with art and the creative life – you have established and maintained productive routines. You have studied and mastered technique through years of disciplined practice. You have narrowed your choice of mediums, of styles, of subjects, for the sake of mastery in them, for the sake of creating powerful work.
And you have come to value this aspect of artistic existence – operating within chosen structures and boundaries and limits, as much as that rich capacity to comprehend and to feel deeply the mysteries of Creation.