Sunday, September 19, 2010

and for those who do

Odilia Rivera Santos

I went to see some play shorts on 43rd street and watched the actors like a hawk ready to swoop down. I saw one young man who i am convinced will be famous because he is pretty with a touch of masculinity, which is non-threatening for girls and appealing to most women. he showed potential and had a dimple in his chin.
an older actor appeared on the stage and I thought he might have a wife and children in college and a day job to afford middle-class security. the parallel lives of artists - one for that innate need to perform or produce creative work even if they are never recognized within a lifetime and the need for the traditional definition of a home.
the audience was full of proud family members who were thoroughly engaged in the performances and admiring of the courage that it takes to go on acting.
sometimes, especially for competitive ambitious types or those whose art has a deadline, the daily work of art is akin to pushing a boulder uphill with your nose.
physical, emotional, spiritual burdens and rewards. although i don't have children, i would compare art to a child. there are great sacrifices to be made, scheduling conflicts, feeding times, sleepless nights and an occasional worry that all the work you've put in will not pan out as you'd like. But more on that later.
My experience through the artist life is a pendulum that swings to the euphoria of freedom, and for me, freedom is creating something ten hours per day, and back to the mundane with clocks, pettiness and unsolicited attentions.
for now, i can say that i admire people with the courage to dream and fail and get back up and be excited and laugh at their own efforts and wild schemes. i admire and love more than anything else for people to be courageous and to put on a brave face and continue. When people ask me if I am still writing, it seems like the most bizarre question in the world. They might as well ask if I still floss my teeth or drink water. I have been writing since I was six years old, struggling to learn English. Writing is my anchor to the world and also what sets me free from it. I am both present and absent in a sense because of writing.
Allowing all unnecessary things, people, and places to fall away creates room for relevance and makes me a more productive self-assured artist. Criticism comes and goes and you, the one who may shyly believe in him or herself or have the belief mingled with suffering and fear, continue. To continue is to win; to risk exposure is to be brave and that is a triumph.
And it is important, I think, to take pity on those who criticize but never attempt to throw a huge rock through that glass ceiling.

"We have more possibilities available in each moment than we realize"
- Thich Nhat Hanh

Buy my e-book! Latinalogue, Puerto Rican Nonfiction Part I

No comments: