Why Wonder

I’ve been meeting some artists lately. REAL artists. Like the kind who involve themselves in galleries and stuff.

I talk about the ideas of art on this blog all the time. After all, if it’s about wonder, it must involve art.

So why do I think of these others as REAL artists?

It is pretty clear that I’ve compartmentalized art in my mind. There is HIGH art, abstract art. There is commercial art.

And there is also whatever it is that I do. I got this response from a reader some time ago:

“I do think of your newsletter/blog as art!”

At least one person thinks of this whatever-this-is as art.

I’ve certainly protected its right to exist in exactly the form it has taken. In my blog, and my books, I’ve utterly rejected other people’s control. This blog is what I make it. My books are my voice, and none other’s.

That’s why I have never offered my books to publishers. I refuse to give up control of my voice and my vision. Every bit of this is my product.

For those who have read The Russian American School of Tomorrow, you know that I was raised to reject my impressions and conclusions. I laid down my own voice at the feet of a constructed God.

After I escaped that world, the repressed bomb of me detonated.

The words of Scarlett O’Hara come to mind “As God is my witness…they’re not going to lick me. I’m going to live through this and when it’s all over, I’ll never be hungry again.”

Hungry is the right word. Starved to a skeleton for the food of myself, I had to start with my words.

Out of the formless void that my life had become, I demanded:

Let there be light!

Where else could light be found but from my voice? My voice was all I had. My words.

I couldn’t let anybody else take them. They were too fragile. I’d worked too hard to trust anyone else with them.

Never again.

I strung words together, and more words together. I scratched some out. I made more.

Words and whatever else I could find.

If I had demanded light, my writing is a great part of what brought it to me.

Almost immediately I wanted more. I wanted to share this light.

If I’d looked in wonder at something, and took the time to see something new, I benefited. The wonder of the world increased.

So let’s take the bushel off this light. There is a reason not to hide it.

Those real artist friends have challenged me to define why I do what I do.

My first feral response of “Because I must!” was insufficient.

What is all this for? It is not enough to write for myself alone.

I need to share this. I need you, readers.

And I will presumptuously claim, you need me.

This whatever-it-is is art. I transport myself when I make it. And when I share it, I bring you along.

Your world is not the same after I’ve gotten involved.

Do you feel my finger tapping on your chest? I mean you.

Your world is impacted by my art.

My art is impacted by your involvement.

I’m grateful for your participation. It makes this effort worthwhile.

With my vision and my words, I make something new. I will share it with you and we are both better for it.

That’s a very good reason to keep making new art.