Sunday, August 06, 2023

At The Crossroads

My mind dances between earth and sky, memory, and ever pressing facts of the present. I easily think, “What if?”  All my life I have been restless. From childhood I learned by feeling and touching, then putting facts together. Given only facts and no experience I am lost. If I had been educated with an arts based curriculum from the beginning, many years would not have been wasted in schooling. 

My mother, Chloris, as a young artist

I have always been on a creative journey. It is my temperament. From an early age, I felt as though the world was my canvas to create art. Thankfully, my parents, especially my mother, encouraged the artist within. She signed me up for special Saturday art classes at a downtown Washington DC museum. She bought me a silver flute and paid for lessons. My father encouraged cultural and social participation in society, and sent me off to work on the Navajo Reservation when I was a junior in High School. I won awards for my painting and writing. World literature was one of my favorite courses. Like my parents, I have been an avid reader all my life. By the time I was eighteen, I had read all the important books by Russian authors Tolstoi, Pasternak and Dostoevsky.

When I decided to go to art college, my parents paid for my studies until I graduated in three years. It has been a blessing that I have been able to make a living as an artist for four decades. Meanwhile I have written books and poetry, become a known photographer and travelled around the world twice, living in thirty countries.

My restless personality, prone to chaos, has been a wellspring and curse. I am in my fourth, and I expect last marriage. This time, thankfully, Amy is also an artist and understands what fuels my creative temperament.

I have two daughters; although my oldest, Naomi, died at age nineteen. I always say I have two children. Naomi my teacher, and Sarah, my joy.

Now, at a mature stage in life, I face a challenging phase of my journey with moments of indecision. It seems my sense of urgency is gone, and being on edge⏤that sense that fuels creative breakthroughs⏤is diminished. Lately, when standing at the crossroads of creativity I have felt at task, whereas earlier in life excitement prevailed. The charging stallion is more apt to walk these days.

Each talent calls out, yet my storehouse of energy has faded with age. I do not have self-doubt or anxiety yet I am cognizant of how my physical powers have faded with time. That said, some of my most important paintings have been made since we moved to Mexico several years ago. That change of life, in itself was no small feat. More new and different paintings are to come for sure, as will the photographs and the writing. Instead of choosing one passion over another, through the years I have explored synergy between creative pursuits. I have blended talents. 

I hope my work reflects a multifaceted soul, resonating with people from all walks of life. Maybe I am a true renaissance man.

In the end, instead of limiting ourselves to a single path, we can weave together our diverse talents into a tapestry of infinite possibilities. Each one of us holds the power to carve a unique path, blending our passions in special ways. 

It is at the crossroads that we discover our truest selves.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I enjoy your willingness to share your life experiences. Thank you Steven.