Now and then, I run across an article, or a video, or an ideal, that is completely not writing-related… and yet, because it so captivates me, I wonder how I might apply it to the craft. This is probably why I am so enamored with the works of Stephen Pressfield, how he is able to blur the divide between life and art so beautifully.
I discovered this TED video by educator Kiran Bir Sethi, and once again, I began to wonder how her principles of empowerment, of “I can” could be applied to my life:
I love the notion of consciously infecting one’s mind with possibility.
What Sethi shows us is that true change and growth do indeed take a village. That we are our brothers and sisters keepers. That in order for change to happen, we must first see the change, allow the change to affect us, and empower ourselves to change our world around us.
She’s a living and breathing embodiment of Guare’s notion of six degrees of separation. She reminds us, joyfully, how one simple action can indeed change the world. Her initiative is the proverbial stone in the pond… and the ripples that spread from it. Her exuberance, her kindness and spirit are infectious. She’s the best kind of disease.
Life in Los Angeles is hard. It’s a big, noisy city with a lot of noisy busy people, every single one of us working night and day to barely hold on. It’s a desperate feeling, the life of the artist. You live from paycheck to paycheck – and those checks are far and few between. A home life is that thing that your classmates in the suburbs have. It’s pretty hard to have a community when you move at such a frenetic pace.
And yet that is, as Kiran reminds us, precisely what one needs to do, in order to improve one’s quality of life. She also reminds us of an essential element in i can living – the ability to blur the line between life and work.
Alright. I can see that. As an artist, my work is my life.
And yet, how does this blur occur? Through real-world interaction. Through support and community. Through active listening and active participation with your peers and neighbors. Identifying problems, and working to find a solution for them. Celebrating peoples’ triumphs, and accepting that, in order to succeed, one must know failure.
Of course, at the end of the day, my landlord cares little when he see me give the homeless guy down the street a little food and water. As a matter of fact, he’s downright cranky, because rent might be three days late again.
But I suppose that’s alright, because I lifted myself up for one brief moment. I stepped out of the Hollywood bell-jar, took a deep breath, and reminded my self that “I can.”
Now, go write.
HRH, Princess Scribe