Monday, October 11, 2010

Every child is an artist.

The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. - Picasso

Lately there have been quite a few thoughts when it comes to art and storytelling. I'm reading about this guy who published a book about his life, and it made a lot of money, and people wanted to make a movie out of it, and they wanted him to write the screenplay, and what I'm reading now is a book about him writing a screenplay for the movie based on the book based on his life.

And there has been a lot of talk of writer's block (whatever that is I don't believe it exists but that's another topic) and how to deal with it. There is a discussion that involves the idea of the artist living vs. creating. If the artist tells the story, he has no time to live in it. If he lives in it, he has no time to tell the story. So what are we to do? Which is more important? Someone has to tell these stories.

But isn't it also possible that, while we are gifted in that we can speak for those with no words, it is ultimately up to an individual whether or not he would like us to speak for him? Wouldn't our time be better served if we could teach people how to tell their own stories? And if people knew how to tell their own stories, wouldn't it be much easier for all of us to tell our own stories as we live them?

Storytelling is special. It is what makes us uniquely human. It is, I believe, part of being in God's image. Being able to tell a story. Being able to live a story. But it is all too easy to think we are better than others and we are serving a better purpose in the world by locking ourselves in our rooms and "making art."

One possible interpretation of Tennyson's "Lady of Shalott" is that he felt a distance from society and could not relate to them. Thus, the Lady is cursed to stay in her room weaving constantly and can only view society from its reflection in her mirror. It's that thought of, "they just don't understand"

But isn't it our job to make them understand? It is not art if it is not an attempt to help the world understand something better or at least grapple with something complicated. No more excuses of "we're just too different" or " they won't get it."

But this book. It makes me think a lot about my story. It makes me aware that I am a character. And I have a plot.

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