Monday Morning Pages: For art’s sake, live!

by Rebecca A. Watson on March 17, 2014

in Art, beauty, Minneapolis, Monday Morning Pages

Last Friday I brought a lemon flavored cake with sugary sweet glaze to Sante’s office. The temperature rose to 18° C (65° F  for my American friends) the past few days and it was time to celebrate. Lemon cake seemed like the right idea.

We feasted with the other guys in the office, each of us enjoying bites of yum with our cups of coffee. Sun streamed into the break area through long windows and the warmth came not only from outside, but from our conversations as well. It wasn’t anything serious, just relating to each other and learning more about our respective countries.

As I stepped back into the afternoon, I walked out the main gate, where one of my favorite pieces of art in Freiburg resides. I asked the gatekeeper if it was OK to take a photo (in German!) and marveled at how wonderful it made me feel to just stand in front of this painting.

ganter braueri kunst

 

ganter braueri kunst close

I read something from this week in my 2012 morning pages that has really stuck with me.

That article I read about personal truths was so interesting. Aesthetics: living life for the art of it is so smart and helpful to appreciate and not judge things.

(I have no idea what article I’m talking about here. I do this a lot in my journals, referring to things without any specificity, which drives me batty. Something to remember while I write my pages now.)

I’m not sure when the switch turned on, but I’m guessing it was around 2007 when I started really getting into art. And not just the stuff that was in museums, although when you live in Minneapolis, there is certainly plenty of that to enjoy. And loads of it is free.

I also really started noticing how beautiful trees were. And how satisfying it was to watch the different flowers mark the seasons. Music of all kinds spoke to me, especially live concerts. The number of shows I attended from 2007 to 2009 probably rivals the number of baseball games I went to. That’s saying something.

baseball!

Because baseball games are amazing.

I didn’t really think of it this way, but I was starting to live life and notice it as art. Moving to Santa Cruz did a lot to help me frame things into those kind of terms, however. Part of it was just the sheer magnitude of beauty I was surrounded with all the time — I needed more of a vocabulary to describe it all.

Another part was working for a software company that designed products for artists: 3D modeling, animation, comic book stuff. Oh lordy, I was in heaven around all of that. And it was around this time I started calling myself an artist. And an art enthusiast. But mostly an art encourager.

comic con

Getting to hang out with oddballs like me at San Diego Comic Con was fun too.

Moving again to Germany made me realize that people here live art on a whole different level. They, themselves, are art. Pieces of beautiful canvases that they were given, and they certainly dressed to celebrate that. No one goes to the grocery store after they just finish a jog. Folks garden in nicer clothes than I would’ve worn out to dinner in Santa Cruz.

This week I really got into the idea that I was my own canvas. And when I looked at myself I realized that I’d let it sit dormant for too long. Yes, I’d stepped up my fashion game once we moved to Europe, but that was something I did on the regular in Minneapolis, so it didn’t feel like anything new.

So I cut my hair. Like, most of it. Off. Now I’ve done this in the past, but it was usually some form of rebellion or after a breakup. Never this way, as a conscious choice to create a different look with the canvas I have. And that’s why I think it turned out so well.

long hair before

Before with allllll that hair …

after straight graduated bob

After — Straight

after curly graduated bob

After — Curly

I’ve been having fun styling it, washing it (oh lordy, so much less shampoo!) and just gazing at myself in the mirror like: “Oh yeah, I am a living, growing thing. And as I grow and change, I become more beautiful in different ways.”

Appreciating that, living your life for the art of it, not only brings you closer to nature and life, really helps with the whole self-love thing too. It draws you in to the person, the soul, you really are. Or rather, it lets your soul come out to play.

So along with letting myself dream and doing little things for me every day (workouts, meditation, cake), I think living for the art of it is part of my journey toward self-love. This means more dancing in the street and freaking out the locals.

It means stopping to appreciate the street art, not just photographing it, Tweeting it and moving on. It means looking at my closet as a paint set. And every day like a piece of wood I’m carving and sanding, slowly bringing out the curves, nuances and softness.

Of course, not every day is Michelangelo’s David, but hell, that was just a piece of marble in a workshop, something forgotten and neglected for years. Even if he hadn’t managed to make an otherworldly sculpture out of the thing, it’d still be more interesting than a chunk of half-carved stone in someone’s back yard. 

david

Instead it inspires awe and two thumbs up from Sante, more than 500 years later.

We are all artists, and the sooner we realize that, the sooner we’ll get to that place of self-love. The art of our lives doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s not supposed to be. Art’s supposed to help you think differently, feel something stir within you and sometimes just distract you, among many other things.

I know you can create. Start small. Yes, life can be a giant hunk of marble waiting for us, but we’ve gotta train for that kind of commitment. For now, just decorate your face with a smile. Sing the song of hello to your fellow man walking into work. Breathe life into the dinner you’ve got simmering.

It might start out being just for you, for your journey of self-love, but that kind of beauty, the kind that you can feel in your cells? It can’t help but seep into the atmosphere around you. You’ll leave a rainbow in your wake. Your energy will brighten the already full moon. You’re creating a better world for all of us, just by getting dressed in the morning. Can’t beat that, can you?

Wondering what this Monday Morning Pages thing is all about? Read how it started. Or check out all the archives.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Nameless Here March 17, 2014 at 11:01 pm

Love the hair. You look so youthful and chic.

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Rebecca A. Watson March 18, 2014 at 9:28 am

Yay! Thanks so much 🙂

Reply

Dede March 19, 2014 at 1:35 am

Love your hair. Your curls are gorgeous! I am so enjoying your adventures in Germany as well…..thanks for writing.

Reply

Rebecca A. Watson March 20, 2014 at 3:17 pm

Thanks so much Dede 🙂 Glad you’re enjoying my posts. I have fun writing them.

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