Saturday, March 4, 2023

The writing on the wall

This is a photograph of a painting found inside the Grotte du Pech-Merle caves in the Dordogne region in France. Back in 2010, during my VCCA/Auvillar artist residency, our group was given an unforgettable tour of the caves and the opportunity to see the ancient cave paintings.

I believe we all have this primal need within us to say, I was here. I caught a wildebeest today. I saw something beautiful. Or I love Peggy Sue.

In my case the message was I go pee-pee.

Yes--this was my first foray into the art of grafitti. In my own defense, I was four years old and I had just learned my letters and well, I wanted everyone to know about it! I went home from school and wrote this simple phrase—in purple crayon—on the wall of the vestibule in my home. Much to my embarrassment, it stayed up on that wall for the next ten years.

Today, I look back at the little girl with the purple crayon and I feel sympathy for her. But more than this, I kind of admire her. She had just learned to write and by golly--she had something to say about the Existentialism, about Cartesian Self: I think therefore I am. 

Okay, not exactly, but close enough!

We all have a desire to make ourselves known. This is why we write. This is why we make art. We want to let the world know that we were here, we were alive, we moved through this time and space and we thought about things.

Creative friends, your assignment for this week is to celebrate and honor your desire to write on walls, to draw pictures or make music, to dance, to sing. This is not trivial business. This is what it means to be alive and leave your mark.

As always, have fun.



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