Art: Alexis Diaz
I have to tell you something. Somehow all of your life has led you to this point, today, here and it is imperative you know. You must know: you are an artist.
When I write that, how does it make you feel? I know what it's taken you to get here, to even be sitting here now, reading these words. I know the desert's you've traveled alone, blistered feet and heart. I know the oceans you've swam too close to drowning, to succumbing to the seas, but you are here. You're not dead yet. Wildly your heart is pumping inside of your chest. All you've ever dreamed is within sight, so close, almost within reach. Chasers of the light, we are. Put your hand on your heart. Drown out the noise around you by feeling the power caged inside of your chest. Such a time is this. To be an artist is to be human; it is to accept that inside of you is the raw power to create. To be an artist is to legitimize your role on this earth: you have one voice, one heart, one soul and it is crying out within you to be heard and shared and understood. To be an artist is to accept yourself, embrace yourself exactly as you are, a beautifully flawed imperfect fabulous human being, to embrace your quirks as uniquely you for all we are and aspire to and create and convey and touch has the ability to be art itself: "I think everything in life is art, how we dress and how we drink our tea, the way we write and the words we speak..." To be an artist is to embrace all of this inside of us with the understanding, the gentle gift of grace that the only one we are ever supposed to look like, sound like, be like, is ourselves.
It is only then, that quiet moment of epiphany, the cold and broken hallelujah sung to our own bleeding hearts that then and only then can we open our heart wholly and fully to another.
It is only after you stand humbly, proud and defeated in front of a mirror and peer with fresh eyes on this former lump of clay, this body, these hands now palettes of potential that you can speak:
I AM AN ARTIST
Then and only then will you understand what it means to collaborate, to have and cultivate successful beneficial partnerships, for you have conquered the hardest victory. "I have seen the enemy and it is me."
PS: "You'll need coffee shops and sunsets and road trips, airplanes and passports and new songs and old songs but people more than anything else you will need other people and you will need to be that other person to someone else, a living breathing screaming invitation to believe better things." - Jamie Tworkowski
// This is the intro to my forthcoming book "Anti-Collaborator": Dissecting the psychology of collaboration and reminding each of us that yes, you my darling, are an artist.