It was a lovely evening.
I of course felt out of place, but that is just me with my neurosis. I always feel out of place when I have something on display or someone is looking at my stuff. I feel out of place a lot. I didn't always, when I was younger I always made a place for myself where ever I went...I know some of you can attest to this and have some pretty incriminating stories about it too. Please...be kind, I have a family now.
Any who, it was difficult, but exhilarating. As are most situations in which one must do something outside our comfort zone...once they are over.
But I can say without a doubt that the evening was a success. Not because now I am famous. Not because I made a million dollars. Not because now I am going to be the last guest on Oprah's final show. Not because now the MOMA wants to feature my work in a traveling show around the world. Because none of those things happened or are likely to ever happen.
I consider it success because of one small moment, one small incident that no one but I was witness to. Me and another person actually.
As people were streaming through the studio and viewing my work, I did what artists do. I stood by my work to answer questions, and accept praise. It's weird...but thats what artists do I guess. One woman came and stood in front of one of my pieces. I called it Metamorphosis. But it has had lots of names, Butterfly Lady, Lady Spring, Springtime Sublime...The One with the Wings. The woman who was admiring the work came over to me and said, "This is so beautiful. I just love it." Then we had more chit chat about it, I don't remember all of it, I talked to lots of people that night. But what I do remember is that it got quiet between the two of us, I out of lack of more interesting things to say and her for an altogether different reason. As I stood by trying to think of something else I might say that would be interesting or funny, she said, "It is so beautiful, it brings tears to my eyes." I glanced over at her and indeed there were tears.
Now my ego wants to take credit for this highest of accolades. My ego wants to say, "Yaaayaaa...I did that, that was me who made that! She is brought to raw emotion because of my work." But the truth of the matter is that it had really nothing to do with me at all.
Micheloangelo said that he didn't carve the David, the David was always inside that mammoth hunk of granite and he simply unlocked it. He was the medium through which the piece made itself be known to the world.
As an artist, isn't that the real work? Aren't we simply conduits? Conduits of conciousness, divinity? Aren't we looking, always searching for that guidance ? Are we not attempting to bridge our world our lives to something greater than ourselves? Some universal truth, some divine understanding? Don't we use art to communicate on an altogether different level than the earthly one?
Maybe not all artists, and maybe not all the time. And maybe not just "artists".
Maybe if we only do it once in our lives that will be worth every moment put in, all the hard work.
We all know that feeling when we see something or hear something that takes our breath away. Or makes our hearts flutter. Or makes us take a second look. Or brings us to tears.
If I can aspire to bring that moment to the life of just one other human being on the earth, I can call my evening a success.