Monday, June 23, 2014

Anna Deavere Smith - " Be More Than Ready "


Anna Deavere Smith 

" Be more than ready. Be present in your discipline. Remember your gift. Be grateful for your gift and treat it like a gift. Cherish it, take care of it, and pass it on. Use your time to bathe yourself in that gift. Move your hand across the canvas. Go to museums. Make this into an obsession…
What you are will show, ultimately. Start now, every day, becoming, in your actions, your regular actions, what you would like to become in the bigger scheme of things. "
I learned about Anna Deavere Smith today, from a site I subscribe to called, Brain Pickings. I love this site because I always learn something about artists, people, psychology, and human behaviour etc.
Everyday we learn, whether we want to or not. It is especially wonderful and joyous to learn if you want to. Perhaps there are some who are unaware that they want to learn. Teaching ourselves, or being taught is discipline. There is no shame in admitting we don't know something, but it is vital that we have a desire and willingness to learn and not be fearful of what others will think of us. I believe it is false pride to not admit that we don't know about something.

Remembering my early life as a young girl, I am so grateful to my mother for the opportunity to study piano,  accordion and art. The fact I don't recall wanting to take piano, or accordion lessons isn't relevant, more important, is that the regular practice of lessons, and playing, helped immeasurably, because it gave me a discipline and later assisted me to apply it to many creative pursuits I wanted to immerse myself in, primarily in art, music, and writing.

Piano was a great foundation to start and to build from. This was not an easy endeavor, as other personal issues and concerns interrupted my ability to be disciplined. I began to think of discipline as a dirty word, and associated it with something I had to do, and it was going to be an unpleasant experience, because I didn't want to do it.

 Thankfully, I always returned to creativity, where I would tap into that discipline, and it eventually enabled me to understand freedom, through discipline. I began to really connect with what makes me happy, what my gifts were,  immersing myself in creative activity and practicing my art in a disciplined way.
 It's a great feeling to know and understand discipline, having learned this without my knowledge at an early age. Grateful thanks to my mother for helping me to understand the importance of discipline in creativity, helping me to find my way, and letting me be who I am, an artist.

 “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”
― Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island

No comments: