light & heavy

On Sunday, Amy was talking about light in her sermon. Of course, this is not the first time that I had ever been charged to shine my light. But it was the first time that I thought about also feeling light. One of my favorite things about going to church is thinking about how the same words are applied in different ways to our lives, for example, the word profession. As a Christian, there is a profession of faith. How does that relate to the profession I am paid for? Hmm… On Sunday, I perked up once I started thinking about the word light… in a new light.

That evening we went to see Capote. This is a fabulous movie. Just incredible. Definitely Oscar worthy. I knew very little about Capote and In Cold Blood before I went to the movie. It was the perfect portrayal of a creative artist and his process. He found the story of his life and he got what he wished for. But in the end, the story really got him. It becomes clear that his story overtook his life. Capote strove for success and even created a new genre of non-fiction. However, he was never able to complete another work again. By the end of the movie, the weight upon him was so heavy that he could not get out of the bed. And yes, I left feeling heavy.

I have spent the last couple of weeks looking at other artists’ creative process and their work. Quite simply, looking at William Eggleston, he was light and carefree because he was always working. He took over 250,000 images. He also said throughout the movie that he was not the standard tormented artist. Now look at Capote, who completed an amazing piece of work that made him infamous. Yet he died of alcoholism without completing another book.

Every artist strives for success and recognition. But what they really want more than anything is to be able to work and express their ideas. As Eggleston and his friend Leigh discussed at the end of his documentary, “We are pretty lucky to be living in a time of so many interesting things.” I definitely feel that way – very lucky that I get to see and consume all that there is out there in the world. But I have to work in order lighten my load after all of that consumption. I always feel the lightest after a few hours in my studio.

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