A few weeks ago I gave an artist talk to a small troupe of boy scouts. They were between the ages of 9 and 11 and of various ethnic backgrounds. I learned the boy scout handshake and I cited the pledge of allegiance – surprised that I actually still remembered it! (But good thing we didn’t need to sing the national anthem, because then I might have been in trouble.) I was in awe of these boys and how inquisitive they were of the artistic process. I showed them some examples of my work and explained how I arrived at the collage through two avenues: photography and poetry. At some point we were talking about how I got started in art and why I did specifically what I was doing. One boy asked me why I chose poetry. This question blew my mind. I was thinking about these young people and hoping to encourage them in some small way to listen to this true thing inside them, that can sometimes run counter to what everyone else is telling you to do or to be. I was trying to explain to them how poetry just came to me, that I was drawn to it. Also, that it helped me deal with certain emotional issues I was having early on. I asked them if there was anything like that that they loved to do, that wasn’t because someone told them to do it, but because they naturally were drawn to it and maybe were even good to it.
This is how we begin to listen. This is how we begin to know our own destiny.
This piece available as a print: here.