You might think sitting with someone in a room looking at old pictures, discussing spirituality, and considering a future without that person as she prepares to exit, in the very room she hopes to die in, would be agonizing. I might have thought so until my life was touched by that experience.
Artists at any level can count on someone trying to make them feel like their work has little or no value, they’ll defend this as “honest feedback,” which they might believe. If you let them get to you, you’re like people who don’t camp because of bugs; fine if you’re just not big on camping but if you love to camp, you’re letting the bugs win.
Happiness is fleeting. Never feel sad about not feeling happy, never feel guilty for forgetting how glad you are to be alive.
You know how it is, you see a random person who looks just like someone you used to know, this could be someone you knew years ago, someone from another part of the country, but here’s the thing, this random person doesn’t care. This is not an interesting or important part of their day, that according to some stranger another stranger somewhere bears a resemblance to them, according to the questionable judgment of stranger number one; so don’t stare at them and especially don’t tell them.
The people in anti-smoking ads are getting younger and younger, losing teeth and turning wrinkly, having strokes and heart attacks in their early forties, which is, I suppose, a more effective way of getting younger people to not start. But why would it not work to show people in their late seventies with lung cancer that spread and became terminal, who want to see the adults their grandchildren would become, who feel like their adult children remain in need of their guidance, who simply don’t feel ready to die?
When someone is more upset telling you bad news about their health than they were in hearing bad news about their health, that someone either loves you unconditionally or is incredibly selfless, usually both. That someone is probably your parent.
When you sit still, walk slow, pay attention, listen, not only do you become aware of things around you but things around you are perceived as important. Too often, we think and act, quickly, we hurry, and not only do we fail to notice things around us but we perceive things around us we do notice as having little value.
Making art costs money and time; the rewards are vast but highly unlikely to lead to any financial compensation. Why do we pretend otherwise and what does that cost us?
Heaven would be having a few beers with Albert Camus, Joseph Campbell, and Carl Sagan. I’ll realize I actually went to Hell when all three of them turn to me and glare and say, “Do you plan on contributing anything worthwhile to this conversation?”
There is something vaguely awesome about being alive. Ask babies.