Art and Practice as Grasping

A tree ascended there. Oh pure transcendence!
Oh Orpheus sings! Oh tall tree in the ear!
And all things hushed. Yet even in that silence
a new beginning, beckoning, change appeared.

- Rainer Maria Rilke, from The Sonets To Orpheus

Change. 
It's the nature of the Universe. 
Nothing is static. 
Nothing is permanent.

As artists it's so easy to fall prey to grasping. Art is hard work. And when we are successful in our work, we want to keep that success. We often want to repeat it. Repeat the work we have done in the past. We grasp and cling to it like a lifeboat in the sea of uncertainty. This grasping is often driven by fear. 

We fear that the muse has left us.
We fear that our success was just luck.
We fear that other artists are passing us by.
We fear that after having success, it will never appear again.
We fear that we are getting old, and therefore will not be relevant anymore.

It's important to realize that this grasping is driven by fear. Once we realize that, we can move past it. Repetition is fine in the cookie cutter mass production world. But as artists, we want to avoid that predictable repetition, because it makes us lazy—“I'll just do more of the same, because that's what people seem to want, and it sells.” 

The way to break not only through, but past this fear, is to hold fast to your practice. When fear makes an appearance, keep with your practice. Keep moving ahead. Keep true to yourself and your vision.

As new beginnings beckon, change will appear. Let it in and embrace it.

~ MB

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