This past weekend I saw a play which blurred the boundaries between art and life. The play, Guest Artist, by well known actor Jeff Daniels, focused on the relationship of a seasoned Pulitzer Prize winning playwright and the young playwright who idolizes him. Predictably, both characters learned about their life and their art from each other. Through twists and turns, the elder writer taught his student the subtleties of being a great playwright, while the youth had the courage to question his elder’s motives and lifestyle. Fear, risk taking, and having the courage to speak your own truth, all of these were explored in the truly moving performances. But what was most striking to me was how both characters were uncompromising in defining their lives through their art.
At two different points in the show, both characters stood on bus seats, (the whole play takes place in a bus station) holding a manuscript, proclaiming at the top of their lungs, THIS IS MY ART! THIS IS MY ART! THIS IS MY ART! Both characters were exclaiming that their art defined them as people. So this got me to thinking… Our art isn’t just our manuscript, or our song, or our dance… but OUR LIFE.
What does it mean to think of our lives, themselves, as art? To consider every moment we live art?
The passion that these playwrights exclaimed about their work is the very way that we, as humans, need to proclaim the creation of our lives each day.
All of our life, each choice that we make, and each action we take – every moment is like brush strokes on a canvas. We are 100% in control of the art of our lives – we are the sculptor, the painter, the singer. Our lives are creations of ourselves. How do we choose to appreciate this? Do we choose to believe that we are in creation of our own life, having the courage to tell our truth? Or do we perceive life as something “being done to us” – allowing fear and attachments to what others may think to dictate how we paint on our life’s canvas?
Do we have the courage to honor the creation (read: the choices we have made) of our lives? Do we have the courage to tell the truth about which choices truly serve us? Do we have the courage to admit that we may be hiding behind our fear, anger, blame, and judgments?
Can we stand up on the proverbial bus seat and proclaim, MY LIFE IS MY ART!?