Sunday, April 13, 2014

Art Blog: Melting the Wax of Nostalgia

Whenever I see an article about a person turning 100 or more, I always think about their history of memories. I think back to 1914 or earlier and wonder what went through their minds as all the decades passed. I am intrigued by what they think of the "now" compared to the "before".

Like anyone who stays alive, I am getting a taste of how my mind is filling to the brim with sights, sounds, and experiences of my own past as I age. I have lived quite a few decades. I noticed recently, my dreams at night are filled with glimpses of years long gone. In fact in one hour of trying to get to sleep, I might think about happenings in 1964; I turn over and close my eyes again, then 1975 antics fill my mind. Once again I shake my head, but suddenly land in a scene from 1999. It goes on and on. Sometimes all the imagery and memories are pleasant. Other times, I wish all my dated thoughts would just go away.

The same kind of unsettled feelings come with my memories of my art life history. If you read this blog, you already know I have been on a quest to find my true home and feeling of belonging. I have gone through all kinds of gyrations. Maybe this discomfort is due to the kind of art I make. Maybe I should move back to Detroit. Maybe I am not social enough. Maybe I have the wrong day job.

Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.

After all this indecision, I recently had a revelation. So much of the ART "world" rubs me the wrong way now. It doesn't feel familiar. All the writings about the art fairs. So much of the art is comic booky or grafittiesque. There is so much emphasis on product. So much I read is written in what they now call "International Art English" which is just a fancy way of saying "unintelligible art blah, blah, blah, B.S."

Then it hit me.

I think my feathers are ruffled because the present isn't my past. Time is moving on. Things change. It isn't 1974 or 1984 or even 2004. You can't ever go back in time. You gotta go with the flow of the years just like the centenarian blowing out a hundred candles!

The irony is I don't really want to live in the past. It is an absurd idea. This is the first house I lived in back decades and decades ago. I remember laying on the ground in front of that house when I was four years old. I would look at the clouds and think poetic thoughts. I knew I was going to be an artist even then. Yet, I wouldn't want to be still laying there now. I grew up. I started living an artist's life. I need to continue to do just that. There are times when waxing nostalgic is OK. However eventually, it is time to move on and let the past go.
You can't see the road in front of you if you are always looking in the rear view mirror!

1 comment:

artjas said...

Your thought process and mine seem to be on the same path. I often wonder if others experience similar feelings as we go down the path of life. Everyone's journey may seem different but it is the same. Only the names have been changed.