Tuesday, March 8, 2011

why i paint what i paint #16

I got to go to a Modern Dance recital this week, and for those of you who have read Julia Cameron's stuff, it was "an artist's date". I felt like I was being challenged and opened to new ways of seeing and thinking, and one piece looked like a Gauguin painting come to life. But the piece I just keep thinking about was called "An Identities". Two dancers came out on stage with their backs to us, and masks of blank-faced, red lipped mannequins on the BACK of their heads. Fortunately, they just paused there for a bit...so that we had time to figure out what we were looking at. Our eyes told us that something was wrong, but our brains kept trying to make it work. (I know in my brain I kept asking if the well-muscled back on the one girl could possibly be her chest cleavage???) Then they began to dance. Sometimes only one was facing us with her real face, sometimes both...they continually flipped front and back/real and unreal. In myself, I found an interesting phenomena taking place: I began to crave their real faces. Their real faces weren't perfect, flawless, etc. but they were REAL, TRUE...NOT FAKE. And it got me thinking about how much time and energy we spend trying to project a false self to others, a self that we assume is more desirable. (Just look at those ridiculous Christmas letters we get every year!, all that plastic surgery, all of our inflated job titles!) And this dance piece made me see once again, that there is NOTHING more desirable, more restful, more true than just being our authentic selves. So let's raise a glass to truth-telling and being...and to doing work that reeks of authenticity.

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