by Kelsey Mars
August 21st, 2016
“You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestation of your own blessings.” - Elizabeth Gilbert
I’m tired of having to pretend that I must be struggling in order to be creative.
I wake up 7:30 or 8 in the morning every day. I drink a cup of water and do my makeup. I get on the train and I go to a job, in an office. This job is not to do writing, or even think about writing. But it is a job that requires for me to be in touch with my empathy, my creativity, my drive and my silliness.
I don’t have an idea in my head of what kind of artist I am. It has taken me a while to accept that I do not have to play a role in this world, that I don’t have to be a certain kind of person in order to find a path, make a living or be happy.
I’ve discovered that what I want most in this world, in this lifetime that I currently exist in, and on this plane, is to be infinite.
I don’t mean that I want to live forever, or to be lost in anarchy, or to believe that I can transcend by own body and experience. I mean that I want to embrace that I can be any version of myself, be any kind of person and have any kind of thought that makes me feel safe and kind and fills me with joy/love.
To comprehend and embrace that time is simultaneous, that everything that has happened or ever will happened exists all at once, is to know that anything we have ever been is a part of ourselves and is as real as anything we will ever be.
Maybe this theory is true, or possibly it is not. Even that doesn’t matter. There is an anomaly between tossing away the skin of the person we’ve grown out of and inhabiting a new idea of self, because still the one we are tossing away was once us. We can’t outgrow ourselves like hermit crabs, but rather morph into something else as we learn more every moment. Every experience becomes a way for our brains to connect the dots more and more. We are constantly creating a intertwined web of self within our own minds.
Maybe art is a way of combatting the overwhelming fear of this thought, that we are both existing and changing and the same all at once. Everything has already happened and it has yet to happen. We are on the path to our future just because we are. The experiences we are having right at this moment will teach us for what’s to come.
What I’m tired of struggling with is the idea that this should be a hardship. Nothing is permanent and even our bodies are temporary. I can find fulfillment in space and time in a constructed environment that provides a salve to my anxiety that I never saw as a child in school. In school, structure was a struggle because it fought so hard with the emotional tide I found myself in. As an adult, the stricture of employment and the support system it provides to a livelihood feels like a net that holds my brain, freeing it of the pressure of providing and letting it marinate in it’s own natural process.
Finding your own way of feeling safe and supported is so much more valuable than struggling alone. Being a starving artist doesn’t have to be what it used to be. You can starve for more inspiration, more ways to work, more time and more mediums. You don’t have to starve for happiness. This is not to minimalize the very real issues of poverty, minimum wage, loans, debt. It is to lift up the job that might not be the job as a full time artist that you imagined as a child. It is to lift up a life that is fulfilling creatively and emotionally. It is to present the idea that we stop being so hard on ourselves and just exist.
The pieces you will find in this issue of Heather, I feel have exploded my passion for this publication. The artists we humbly present here feel freed from precedence or rules. To create art is to embrace all of yourself, your wants and needs, and to know that what you produce and what you are compelled to produce is divine in the way that your own very thoughts are. They are magic inside your head. To create from, be inspired by and to share them is at times a fruitless act and all at once necessary.
I hope you enjoy Heather, Volume 1, Issue 2. I am deeply honored to publish it.