Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Impermanence of Things...

It rained again today. It was a big heavy rain, where the sounds of the falling heavy drops and the howl of the wind and the crashing of thunder were almost deafening. With the rain came a strange stillness in the cacophony. I propped the window open and sat for a long time thinking about ancient cave paintings and time. I sat listening to the drumming of a primal beat, the one in my heart and the one outside the windowsill.

When I began my journey as an artist, I guess, like many, I was on a search for identity. Unknowingly to me, I was on a search to find myself. Eventually I began to see the patterns in my work and how there were markers of the struggles I had with the world, my demons, and basically the foundations of who I am. Even if I wasn't painting a picture of myself, you could see me in the work – in the brushstrokes, in the colors, in the images I chose.

Since I am very much entrenched in the world around me, the chronicling of my existence was a mapping of the world. When I started confronting the vastness of that world, I wanted to preserve myself. I wanted to leave a record. I did not want to be the voice of the old Sybil, dying in the wind a whisper. I wanted to maintain and to be remembered and in my own way, be immortal.

It's only now that I can really understand my motivations when I began. It's hard to have perspective when you're right up against it. A rock in the road is a seemingly insurmountable mountain when it is an inch from your eye.

I watched the rain today and I became okay with the impermanence of things. One day, I will be forgotten. All memory of the person I am will be washed away by the erosion of time. The records of Me, the maps of internal landscapes and hidden dreams, should they survive like some ancient cave painting, will only capture a hint of my life. What immortality I may seek to obtain is a hollow one, a husk for a very real – a very human life. And oddly... I'm okay with that.

One could look at this and see years of toil and frustration all for naught, for an impossible thing, OR one could see this an incredible thing. I am a moment that cannot be captured. All of me is just too big to fit in a painting or a sculpture or in a few words. I am like a sunrise, a firefly, a misty steam rising from the road as the rain crashes down. I am ephemeral.

Is this an excuse to lay down my paintbrushes and pens and whither away? Not at all. It is a calling to LIVE! It is a message to make each day count and do what best makes me shine!

6 comments:

Cynthia of Cynful Creations said...

Andrew, I am absolutely blown away by what you wrote - it is so true and just takes the ego out of everything, leaving merely the beauty of the moment. Thank you for sharing this with us. (and I LOVE the Cave Painting necklace, it is too perfect!)

Erin said...

What a beautifully written post! The metal images you create with your words is amazing as well as though-provoking! You are a master artist with words as well, Andrew! A true artist in every sense. Your creativity will always flow from you no matter what you do. Thank you for sharing the beauty that you bring to the world.

Janet said...

Anyone who is loved by you Andrew what a gift that is! You are like the fireflies who are bright and glimmery so beautiful!

Bead-Mused said...

Andrew, this was such a beautiful post that I just had to share it on FB and Twitter. Some things just have to be spread out there for everyone to see. (I also sent you a friend request on FB)
theresa

jeweledrabbit said...

A very riveting post.

Andrew Thornton said...

I am moved and utterly touched by your comments. Thank you all for taking the time to read my post and share in my thoughts.