Is Life an Art Form or an Exercise?

This morning, I posted something I was thinking about on Instagram. I wasn’t really focusing on it too intently, just typed out a couple of sentences and hit “Share.” But when I reread the post, I felt I had been accidentally wise for a second.

I wrote that in my aerial practice (silks, sling and lyra), I don’t take advantage of the beauty inherent in the art because mostly I focus on learning new tricks. And I have a habit of viewing aerial as exercise rather than art. As I reread it, I thought, “Holy shit! What a metaphor!” If I replace “aerial” with “life,” it says a lot about how I live in my day-to-day world.

I don’t take advantage of the beauty in life because I’m busy “learning new tricks” — in other words, focusing on advancing toward some unknown goal rather than on the beauty that life can be. And I tend to view life as “exercise rather than art,” as though it is something to be overcome because I have to do it, rather than as something that is an art form in and of itself.

Life should be beautiful! Otherwise, why bother? This morning I realized that I can always be striving to live life artistically, beautifully and creatively instead of considering it a swamp of struggles I must slog through (sorry: through which I must slog).

Not that I always consider life a slog. There is much to be grateful for, and I try to remember those things and to enjoy the beauty and love in my life. But, like anyone, I sure do get bogged down in the day-to-day grind and often forget to live artistically.

But here’s a question: can you live “artistically” and creatively without actually creating art? What would an artistic life look like in day-to-day practice? I’m sitting here in my newly redecorated office (with pretty curtains and fairy lights and flowers, as girly as I could get it) and looking out on a winter wonderland of snow and trees and dense white sky. Can the act of sitting and enjoying the world around me be creative? Artistic? I don’t know exactly what that would look like. But at the very least, I can attempt to let the beauty enter my soul and embrace it. I can try to let the beauty of the world dictate who I am at this moment.

Just a slice of my girly office and the pretty day outside…

I hope you enjoy whatever your version of a Sunday winter wonderland is today. And I hope you have a few minutes to live beautifully and creatively.

Til next time, have fun as always!

Love,

Jen

XO

PS: I asked Paul if one could live artistically without actually creating art. “Sure,” he said. He pointed at me. “Just start calling yourself an artist.” I can’t decide if that’s infinitely wise or just obnoxious.

One of life’s beautiful moments…did I take the time to enjoy it? Or was I too worried about how I looked and whether it would make a good picture?

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