Art Is the Big Yes

Eyes flutter open and poetic lines flitter across the barely wakened surface of my mind:

“Pray for mercy,

Pray for peace,

Pray for freedom’s
sweet release.

Pray for the day,
Pray for the night,

Never give up hope,

Or give up the fight.

Life may be shortened,
Life may be brief,
But most of us live longer,
Than our deepest of griefs.”

©Elaine Wood-Lane 8.5.14

The lines of the poem above did come to me this morning just as I described. I was not awake enough to write them myself. So, where does art come from? Why do we have moments of inspiration that seem to have no origin, but are as real as the air we are breathing? Is art something restricted to only the gifted or talented? Yes, but we’re all gifted or talented in some way!

Marvin Bell said, “Much of our lives involves the word ‘no.’ In school we are mostly told, ‘Don’t do it this way. Do it that way.’ But art is the big yes. In art, you get a chance to make something where there was nothing.”

Marvin Bell was a poet, but I think this applies to many things. Painting, drawing, graphic arts, photography, writing, music, cooking, writing code for software, inventing, homemaking, architecture, design, fashion, crafting, and on and on the list goes. My point is, we all create art in some form or other. Whenever you get out of the box and make something from nothing, you are an artist. You are fully alive. Art is, indeed, the big yes. Make a lifetime of somethings where, before you came to be, there was nothing.

“Wood Lane” by Claude Monet, 1876

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