22 November


I'm about to admit something that I have a feeling may ruin my "image". That's funny to me, of course, because I am who I am, and I'm also obviously the person who crafted whatever "image" it is that I have. (Also, I am being a little bit facetious.) But here goes:

We love Michael Jackson. Our whole family, we just love him. When he died, I was shockingly depressed about it. I was also newly postpartum and fairly vulnerable, but my reaction to his death surprised even me. The week after he died, I wrote this post, and a lot of it was about my feelings about his death (also, the speeding ticket, the dawdling in the pool locker room, and the 2000 stitches per inch of work on my niece's sweater were also real anecdotes). Kyrie called it my "Michael Jackson post". 

Anyway, we love to watch Michael Jackson videos on YouTube (my kids' favorites are absolutely Smooth Criminal and Beat It, while my husband likes the album Off the Wall quite a bit), and sing and dance and generally have a lot of fun with it. 

Right now as I type this, my husband is playing Michael Jackson songs on the guitar behind me. And that is more what I wanted to write about, Michael Jackson being my long-winded introduction.

There is something intangible and kind of magical about being a musician or an artist. It's so hard to put into words, even for a person who has experienced it for many years. But there is a sort of "can-do" attitude in the fact that we can pick up instruments and learn Michael Jackson songs and play them together in an impromtu jam, or the way many of us in this (blogging) community jump in and make incredible pieces of art -- with fiber, textiles, all kinds of media! -- and the photography, too! I look at the photos on so many blogs and all over flickr and they are better than lots of "professional" photography that I've seen throughout my life. 

I guess what I'm trying to say is, embrace art! Embrace being an artist! It is something you will have with you all your life, wherever life takes you. Art is one of the very few, very real legacies a person can leave behind. For me, this always seems especially clear when I hear Schubert's 4th Symphony. I don't know why, but everytime I hear this particular piece of music, composed nearly 200 years ago, I am blown away by the fact that something so "old" still has such deep resonance and relevance. So much so, that people devote their lives to developing the skill to be able to perform it. (Life as a classical musician is a bit odd in that way, because most classical musicians don't play music of their own creation, but are rather the conduits of those who have gone before. Which is amazing to me, such evidence of the true value of art!)

Whether it's Schubert, or Michael Jackson, whether it's textiles, photography, or food: remember, you are an artist. I believe that we were created to create. And that is something huge, and beautiful, indeed.

(PS: Two of my real kindred friends, Martha and Kyrie, have released an ebook of knitting patterns today! Check them out!)