The Walls Between Us

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!!

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5 Responses to “The Walls Between Us”

  1. John Says:

    “Occupy art!!” – i love it, M. I also enjoyed the piece you did for Faruq in the Poetic Express.

  2. artremedy20 Says:

    Thanks, I just updated this piece just a bit. I hope to do a blog post on Faruq Z. Bey this year.

  3. Don Handy (Mud) Says:

    Interesting observations. Might I add that not all walls are bad, especially those with art hanging on them! They can also help provide shelter from the storm.

    Since Woody Guthrie’s 100th birthday was last weekend, and I’ve been listening to him every day, please allow me to add this as well…

    “As I went walking, I saw a sign there
    And on the sign it said “No Trespassing,”
    But on the other side, it said nothing
    That side was made for you and me.”

    This art is your art, this art is my art,
    From Bob Dylan to some young upstart
    From graffiti to the Metropolitian Museum
    This art belongs to us and them.

  4. Apollo van dyke gone mad--hahaha Says:

    no more talking no more dialogue, i love you man and yours words are both beautiful and pure–i know that for a fact. I am not suggesting that you are wrong just offering another angle. “Before Dada was there, there was Dada.” We must be/ know/ and do. Guerilla, strong arm, barnstorming is all that will be respected. “Occupy art” with paint brushes/grafitti. You /Tyree/turtle/Orange/all had-have the right idea—i am here acknowledge me i have something to say—–and until i die i will be there—-pure expression no love no hate this is my dime–this is how i see the world—this is how he sees the world and we respect all views as long as you are working……What painting that you know of is really worth 100 million dollars—one painting. No one human is worth that much. I am not naive I understand market value and history and future value of the dollar—i get all that investment bullshit…How many humans can we feed with 100 millions dollars . how many lives can we change? Where do we start? What is the objective? How do we plan/follow up/close the loop? Who can we trust? Who is the enemy? I know it sounds like the Army ranger/Special Forces bullshit…but it works baby. Kick the fucking wall down—we dont need walls to hang art–thats too much like waiting or begging for permission only after apologizing for existence. The studio must exists in the mind first–and the art is magnified larger than life its bigger than us all cause the wheels on the bus go round and round………..I love you madly the Jack

  5. artremedy20 Says:

    The Jack: hello hello……… Yes sneak around the back? Hop over the walls? or knock them down? It’s all magic and ferociously untamed dreams (anyway). Thanks for the comments cool………

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