Life is art, living is a form of art. I know, it sounds like a cheesy line you would expect an eccentric antagonist in a B movie to use when gloating to his bemused opposite number, while sipping on a glass of margarita with olives, but yes indeed I have uttered those words and I cannot un-utter them now.
When I came back to campus last year, I decided I would start cooking my own food. I arrived at this decision after several episodes where my stomach disagreed with my choice of hotels where I ate, the most extreme of which culminated in me spending half the night hunched over the toilet bowl screaming bloody murder and cursing all cooks who refuse to wash their hands after “using the facilities”.
After several spills and hiccups during my brave journey into the world of cooking, there came a time where I began to actually LIKE my own food. For a moment I wondered if maybe my tolerance for terrible food had taken a bump but then I realized my cooking skills had actually IMPROVED. As I grew more and more confident, I began to EXPERIMENT, adding a few more spoons of spices than was the norm or mixing them up, adding sugar or salt where it wasn’t meant to be added until at some point the little voice in my head shouted: “Cooking is an art and am an artist!”
Yes indeed, I am an artist, not the best in the world as far as cooking is concerned but still an artist, because cooking is an art, just like painting, drawing, writing too and yes you guessed it: life…living. That’s an art too. We are the painters. Time is our canvas. The opportunities we are given: youth, wealth, health, intelligence those are the paint brushes and the colors we paint with are the choices we make, the memories we leave behind, what we choose to believe in.
There are some who paint bright Da Vinci-esque lives, lauded through time long after they are gone. Others paint abstracts like Picasso, their choices and behavior understood by few but still remembered and maybe even loved by many. Others are condemned or condemn themselves to lives no different than a hurried-through draft painting, blazing through life with abandon, making mistake after mistake and sowing discord among people until they are tossed under the easel to be forgotten forever.
Am an artist! So are you! And now that you know that, what does it make you feel? Are you worried that you might be a poor artist? That you can’t tell apart the handle end of your brush from its bristle end? That you can’t find the right texture and hue for your paint mixtures? Well hush dear, and listen close. To master anything, you always have to start with the basics.
For instance with writing the bare basics you have to master are language and grammar. A book filled from end to end with unsound sentences like “goo goo gaa gaa” and “baa boo” is unlikely to end up a best-seller. I mean, even toddlers won’t understand your book, and they actually speak that language. With football, it’s passing and movement. As hard as it is to imagine, there was a point in time when Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo did not know how to kick a ball, and they had to labor through training with their frustrated coaches shouting their throats dry whenever 5-year-old Messi or Ronaldo would miss hitting the ball after running to it, maybe pirouette on the spot there before falling on their backs like clumsy characters from a cartoon. But they put in their day’s work every day until they could perform the basics of their trade with their eyes closed, before building upon that and perfecting it to get to where they are now.
The basics of the art of life, and maybe am reaching a bit here in which case my comment section remains open to anyone with a different opinion, but the basics of life as an art from what I gather are intention and interaction.
Why do you do what you do?
Do you genuinely want to help people?
Do you simply want to be famous?
What do you think about the people around you, friends and strangers alike?
Do you treat them with respect or at least the dignity to which every human has a birth-right?
These two have to be it, surely. If we purify our intentions and cultivate our interactions with others, some of the mistakes we make may even be excused or addressed with lighter scrutiny. We master those basics and maybe we may even rid ourselves of these mistakes. Okay, that’s too optimistic.
But at least it will be a step in the right direction.
Life is art.
So make your painting colorful.