I know my posts are far and wide these days, and that’s probably because in this day and age, when you get to 10th grade, you have to make more decisions than you ever dreamed of. It’s so alarming and disorienting to come from lazy middle school, where the adults still don’t quite trust you, and only give your leash so much slack, to be thrown into high school with only a semester’s notice before you have to make decisions that will affect the next few years of your life, if not the rest of your life…In addition, I wrote a satisfactory post on two books I read which somehow got DELETED before I posted it; in my rage, I logged off and didn’t post anything at all…
That kind of reminds me of something my English teacher said today. She was talking about branches of learning and mindfulness and theme in literature (unanimous: UUGGHH) and all that kind of good stuff, when she got into artists…She said that writers, composers, artists, all those creators who take years out of their lives to make something so huge and extravagant to explain one theme (that happens to be tucked away in every seam and fold of their creation – ahem, I’m talking to you, Authors With Books On Our English Curriculum) don’t enjoy doing what they do. They feel obligated to do it. She said writers that she knows tell her that they don’t enjoy writing but they enjoy having written. At first, I thought, “Psht, that’s wrong. I like writing, I like music.” Even some kid in my class (who is in Jazz 1) raised his hand and commented, “I’m pretty sure they like it.” I don’t exactly remember what her response was, but then
it dawned on me.
I recalled writing this here blog. It takes me at least a half hour (usually way more) to write something satisfactory. A lot of times, when I get writers’ block while writing, I think of all I could have been doing besides spending one to two hours writing. Like I have said before, writing is dang hard. It sure is. So why do I do it? Do I actually enjoy the act of writing?
Truth be told, not really. Writing is hard, and humans are equipped to streamline things and enjoy making them as easy as possible. So, no, I don’t. But it is hard for me to enjoy other things if I have not said what I wanted (or, truly, what I needed) to say. Then, when I am done getting it all out in perfection, exactly how I want to, I am free to enjoy what I please. More enjoyment follows when people read what I write, agree/disagree with it, engage in it, and get the point I’m trying to make! Understanding is what we writers are looking for! We have something to say, and when people get it, our work is done.
The more I thought about this concept of not-liking-doing-art-but-enjoying-what-we-get-out-of-it, the more it made sense. I thought about practicing music. Music is also dang hard. Practicing is not fun. It’s not, I admit it! But, what comes from practicing?
Success comes from practicing. Ease comes. Skill. Knowledge. Fun. When you know what you’re doing, when you’re good at what you’re doing, it’s fun! Who hates being good at something? No one! When I hear beautiful symphonies, blistering solos…when I read fantastic books, watch frustratingly amazing movies, see the most magnificent and celebrated works of art…it makes all of this hardship worth it. When I am exposed to something beautiful, it is just more inspiration to add to the cosmic gallery of art, cosmic record collection, or cosmic library. I want to make beautiful things even more when I experience other beautiful things.
We listened to Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”, which is a song I thought I knew…but wow. It is an opera! It is in German! It is so wide and…joyful! All I knew of that song was how to play it on recorder in third grade. It is more beautiful than that. It is incredible to hear every end of the orchestra… I challenged myself to hear the basses, the horns, the twittering flutes, the chords changing and every moving part of it like the inside of an old clock…classical music is really great. As a side note: while I enjoy modern verse-chorus-verse-chorus music well and good, it really lacks what classical music blooms with. Pick up some Haydn or Mozart then next time you’re at the library, it’s worth it.
I remember in ceramics class now, how hard it was to make good stuff. But, I loved that class. Especially the wheel. The wheel is SO. DIFFICULT. It is fun to watch your own two hands make something lovely and symmetrical and round and perfect. It is fun to get really dirty with clay in the name of good art! I know German is not fun to learn. But I would not make any other language my priority. I love knowing a new and different way to say something. I love understanding another language!
So, all in all, beautiful things are not out of reach. They are just waiting to been absorbed and appreciated.