From Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act IV, Scene 3
"There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat; and we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures."
Shakespeare/Julius Caesar Quote from the book - A YEAR BY THE SEA: THOUGHTS FROM AN UNFINISHED WOMAN, author Joan Anderson
In her book quoted above, author Joan Anderson, was not writing about the waters of Maui (one of my inspirational painting favorites) nor specifically about Julius Caesar. Nonetheless, some way or another her book, my Maui photo, Julius Caesar, and I have all come together this a.m. in thoughts of who I am as an artist, who I am as a person of influence in the world - person of influence - well, that's quite a role I've taken on for so early in my morning! Nevertheless, you're reading my thoughts and I may be influencing you one way or another consciously or subconsciously.
The quote apropos to the recent NEW YORK TIMES coverage of Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park and its controversial portrayal of one of our current influential leaders, has piqued my interest more than ever in the quote, one I jotted down last year in a sketchbook/diary record that I loosely keep. art, public venues, free speech, affairs of men (people), life challenges, good reads, real news etc.
To Shakespeare and Ms. Anderson's writings about tides, floods, and staying afloat – I ask myself how do I personally negotiate the floods (seas) of my life, the goodness, the opportunities, the personal connections? Am I so busy not wanting to drown that opportunities presented on a clear and insistent life raft are ignored. I believe that Joan Anderson was entreating me to save myself from perishing in the floods of life, to paddle until I swim, to reach out humbly to offered hands until I reach with my own in confidence toward my own destiny, all the while through generosity and example, helping others floundering in the waves.
In my pursuit of life as a professional artist for the past 16 years, I've worked diligently to be more than about just staying afloat. Being mindful of the hands that are offered to me from the raft, using the connections, studying and honing my personal painting as well as marketing skills, practicing studio discipline, attempting to respect my fully earned artist muscles and creative talent, painting that panel, submitting to public venues, feeling the letdown of non-acceptance and the exhilaration of the yes answers that come more and more often.
I thank Ms. Anderson A YEAR BY THE SEA: THOUGHTS FROM AN UNFINISHED WOMAN, and I thank the bard. Less than skillful I claim to be in recognition of Shakespeare's full repertoire, wouldn't he be surprised that I feel his influence to this day? How about you? Who influences and envisions more for you than even you do? To whom do you lend a hand of encouragement, a pat on the back, maybe they'll claim your generosity and move forward with their efforts of "taking the current when it serves" and be thankful. I am thankful for the hands and support that continue to buoy me up in my efforts as an artist. Be thankful for your supporters - they're there!