A friend once told me that she doesn’t watch TV, except for football games, because the shows are mindless, crass junk.
This irked me.
At first I thought my irritation came from a sense that I was somehow wrong and maybe uncool to want to watch TV. It took me a minute, and then I realized something else was bugging me. I agreed with my friend about the alarming abundance of television awfulness. “But you know,” I said, “Movies and shows can be seriously moving and entertaining, creative and magical. That’s Art! We need Art!” She thought about it a minute and, inspired, said she’d never thought of it that way.
I remembered that conversation because I watched two movies on TV the other week, Unbroken and Wild. Both of them triggered deep feelings. I winced, I cried and I shouted right out loud in my living room, “Yes!” I identified with the themes of loss and bravery and triumph. Those movies made me think and feel when I needed something to move me, when something had to be done with the walls I’d erected around my heart. Those movies, with all the brilliant writing, acting, directing, and all the other creative movie magic within, helped me feel human again.
A million years ago, I worked at a mind-numbing job in a corporate office and felt like I was slowly dying. Twelve years into it–I’m no quitter!–I left on a lunch break, headed to a bookstore, and returned with a stack of books about career change, which I placed in a prominent place on my desk for all to see. On the top of the stack was “Kiss Off Corporate America.” That one made me feel really good. 😏 But the best one in the stack turned out to be this:
“Creating a Life Worth Living“
Carol Lloyd, the author, wrote it for creative types who are trying to find a way to do their Art and afford food and shelter. She writes in a way that artists think. Amazed, I remember reading this book slack-jawed, with absolute wonder. And joy. Eureka! It was as if I now had permission to accept my artist self and actually pursue a life that might not look “normal” to others, but would make perfect sense to me. Relevatory! Life-changing! Important!
I’ve been pursuing a life worth living ever since. In July, I left my job leading a worship band. I’d been doing it for 14 years. The job itself and the leaving were Revelatory! Life-Changing! Important!
This fall, I saw a friend in an amateur production of Memphis: The Original Broadway Production and watched Kinky Boots on Broadway. Revelatory! Life-Changing! Important!
And I started this blog, which I hope is, say it with me: Revelatory! Life-changing! Important! in some way for not just me, but also to you. I’ve come through a rough few years, and now feel an undeniable craving for all things creative. For beauty, devastation, joy, bewilderment–whatever Art has for me to see, hear, taste, experience. I need to feel. I need to marvel at the technique, the talent, the expression of emotion. I need Art!
Support the Arts, Enjoy the Arts, Make Art!
(It helps in so many ways to know your thoughts and experiences. Please take a few moments, if you can, to comment and “like” and maybe even follow this blog. Thanks for reading!)
2 thoughts on “Art-Starved”
I have friends who don’t watch tv. Usually because once they turn it on, they cannot walk away. It is mezmerizing for some, and time is lost relaxing rather than getting stuff done. Have you ever seen someone walk past the tv and just stop whatever they were doing? I have. I am always rather surprised, because tv does not have that effect on me. I choose the shows I want to watch during the week and soak up the great acting, writing, costumes! It is art, and not an easy art by any means. I’m ready for change in my working life, too. What to do, what to do? Maybe I’ll check out the book you mentioned here to start.
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I HAVE seen people stop and stare at the TV, and I’ve done it myself! I do what you do–choose what I want to watch and that’s it. Unless I’m super tired or ill and need to rest a lot. Regarding your work: you probably already have an idea what you’d like to do, and maybe you think it’s outrageous to even try. It helps to start with a prayer, which you have probably already done! Let it unfold. So beautiful to see what God can do with us when we cooperate! LOL