Thursday, October 22, 2015

An Artist's Job

Zestful Blog Post #129

Having just mourned a friend whose life was claimed by cancer, and this week receiving the news that another friend has been plunged into a sudden, dire fight with the disease…

You send messages of cheer, you show up to help if you can, you grieve.

As a young person I was strongly impressed by a “Peanuts” strip in which someone asks Charlie Brown why we’re here. “To make other people happy,” he answers.

“Who needs church?” I thought, after digesting that.

Recently I struck up a conversation with a stranger who was downhearted about life. I asked what she thought it was all for. Sadly, she said, “Well, to have as much fun as possible, I guess.”

But that’s only part of it, isn’t it? To me, it seems the most important thing is to contribute something—while having fun along the way. One can make others happy by being a clean, clear spirit who doesn’t haul around dissatisfaction and tension. That’s a contribution, a huge contribution. One can bring up wonderful children. One can create, and get those creations into the world.

Can one be a jerk—even a monster—and still create marvelous things? Sure. But being creative doesn’t excuse living dirty.

Clearing away the trash, dropping heavy baggage, refusing to get pulled down by the mundane, putting good work out there, being kind, persisting in the face of pain and death—those things are an artist’s job. And we’re all artists. Completion is available in every moment.

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  1. Elizabeth, two weeks ago I lost a dear friend to suicide and now my friend Sandra is in the fight of her life. I thank you so much for what you had to say in your blog. Asking "why" has always seemed unreal to me, in terms of why those things happen. But asking "for what purpose are we here?" is a good question, a soothing question to me: and your answer, while no different in substance than many others, was different in quality and was a delight to read, if one can use the word 'delight' in this situation. Thanks. Ona

  2. Well said, my friend. Your words are powerful and inspiring at just the right time. Thank you ;)

  3. To make others happy. A wonderful purpose for life.

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  5. Ona Marae, Barrett, and MsDiva, thank you for stopping in and sharing your kind thoughts. Sandra was indeed the impetus for this post.

  6. To take care of others, first take care of yourself. Make sure your own life is in balance, then you can be good to yourself and others.

  7. Yes, Stanley, we sure do agree. Put on your own oxygen mask first before assisting others....

  8. We all wish no one ever had to go through what Sandra and others like her have to endure. What you do, and what Sandra does, is make people think and entertain them at the same time. As a fellow writer, we all hope to have some impact on the readers of our books, even if it's just a smile or a brief escape from the every day.
    Thanks for what you do.

  9. BJ, you're welcome, and thank YOU. I'm so glad you're part of my world.


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