What’s It All About?

There are people, and I have no idea if they are just a vocal minority among arty types, who claim to have been on a mission to fulfill a vision, something so compelling that it was there, fully realized from the first step, first word, initial brush-stroke, or notion of a gesture. They were focussed, single-minded, on a path, answering a call, on a pilgrimage to a mysterious site known only to themselves.

And, after their arty work is done, they say, “Look! See what I did? That was my vision and now it exists!” It is left as tribute, then, to Art. There may be light snacks and beverages served.

We mere mortals gather, are suitably impressed, then aspire to emulate the artistic act. 

If only we had a vision. How do we start if we don’t have one of those?

I mean, what if I don’t know what it’s gonna be about? There will be something there when I’m done, sure, but do I have to know what it’s supposed to signify BEFORE I start?

John Lennon said, “Every child is an artist until he’s [sic] told he’s not.”

That’s because they don’t have to have a vision and they make it up as they go along. So, they continue building Lego, or scratching a crayon on cardboard, or singing a made-up tune, and art begins. Then, someone sidles up and asks, “What’s that supposed to be?” and the poor kid has to make something up and do it quick. Or maybe a tantrum suffices to get them out of that sticky situation, a well-known tool of the artistic temperament.

But it’s too much pressure for most of us and we quit.

I think the vision stuff is mostly just a convenience, an easy answer to a difficult question. 

“Why did you do that?” is a hard question, because it implies you have to have a reason, and “I dunno,” is not an answer anyone wants to hear. It also makes it sound like you’re not serious, a dilettante at best. And a long, honest answer that reflects the complexity of the process you went through is simply going to get yawns and eye-rolls.

Understandable. I don’t want to listen to ME talk about ME any more than anyone else does.

“So, yeah, I had a purpose. I journeyed, and I was, and it IS.”

I have never really had much idea about why I have written something until I’m almost done. By then, I figure it out. Around the 92,347th word. Or the final punch line.

That’s okay with me. I’m not big on isolation or deserts, anyway and any vision I might have in one would be considered derivative.

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