One of our greatest problems or challenges are the very walls that divide us. Numerous barriers, obstacles, stumbling blocks, prison bars, dividers and fences exist around us and between us. Sometimes, a wall can contain a door or a window. If not, things can get difficult.
One wall, is the sense that most people are just insanely busy. We struggle to make ends meet, to get by. If we have “day jobs” we consider ourselves lucky. Yet they take up so much time. This includes the time getting there and back home again. Often, there’s “unpaid overtime” related to the work you take home with you. Then, some people actually need to work two or more jobs. Then, there are the poor and the homeless. Being “down on your luck” is a serious full-time job, in and of itself.
Added to this, is the time spent living your life with your loved ones. We socialize and communicate. We live, love, play and dream. Then, many of us do all of this and have “second careers” as artists as well. It’s a labor of love, yet it’s also a struggle and a fight.
There are other walls which have little or nothing to do with the constricts of time or the tension between time and life.
There are walls of space, of distances. It’s tricky being friends with people you’ve never met.
There are walls of otherness. Sometimes, it’s just a sense of separation due to the other’s difference. This can be overcome, overlooked or transcended. Then too, consciously and/or unconsciously, there’s bias, prejudice, distrust and suspicion.
I’m sure there are other angles, ideas, takes and connections that I won’t get into here. I could write a book.
This all plays out in the quality of our daily lives. Yet, there are two special areas that I especially care about.
First, these walls make it difficult for people to get together and change the world, to remake life into something kinder and more intelligent. We try to leap over the walls, to find doors and windows or to break the walls down, flat. The occupy movement is an encouraging sign. We need to get things really moving locally, nationally and globally. Stakes are high!
Second, these walls isolate artists. They make our lives and our creative lives all the more difficult. We live through dualities and opposites. Artists can be high or low, popular or unpopular and famous or obscure. This too is a barrier. Why shouldn’t I, or you (if you’re a true, dedicated artist) be on equal footing with a “celebrity” actor, singer or musician? There is class difference in the arts. This often has little or nothing to do with quality or the degree of hard work or the intensity of the dedication and determination.
Sometimes, I feel of we could have some dialogue and discussion, it would be to both our benefit. If I respect someone’s work, and feel sure they’d likely respect mine, I see them as a peer. The idea of having “our betters” or “bowing down before stars and superstars” needs to be questioned, to be examined.
Then, various disciplines are often separated, as if in cliques. Musicians, painters, sculptors, poets, performers, dancers, singers, directors, writers, visual artists, puppeteers, and yes, all of you: communicate, connect, encourage and support each other, take down the walls or find doors through them. Occupy art!!