14 Feb Let’s Walk the Earth Without the Weight of the World
MEANINGFUL ARTWORK makes us feel something that’s not only joy, and not only that which makes tears fall.
Artwork which illuminates the breadth of the human experience helps us see the world anew.
Perhaps as a little brighter on a rainy day, or fuller and sodden, even when the sky is blue.
Artwork’s a reflection.
Someday, we’ll come across a book or a photo or glazed over clay, and we’ll see that life isn’t what we thought it was.
We aren’t what we thought we had to be.
We see ourselves in the brushstrokes or the film, our flaws and imperfections and how they make us beautiful.
Art is universal, because being human is universal; it requires no more than a heartbeat and a will to continue.
That will gives a voice to the voiceless, inspires through a song, and radiates love from a colorless photograph.
It’s my dream to give this sort of value to the world.
Yet I feel a pressure in our modern day to do more than I am.
I’m grateful to have something I care about deeply, yet it’s a constant give and take.
Striving to portray the wonder, the mystery, the beauty and the struggle of this human experience gives my life purpose.
But often, underneath it all, I want to just live.
What does it mean to live?
It’s not doing nothing; that wouldn’t satisfy us. Yet I feel there’s a balance between doing and being that’s nothing to be ashamed of, nothing to fear.
Creating what you’re on this planet to create, doing what you’re truly here to do, derives from walking on this earth and feeling the force of a storm. That doesn’t mean you have to go anywhere.
Taking a serious chance on love, endeavoring to push against the boundaries of your soul, will show you what’s truly possible.
Yet there’s so much out there in the world, beyond what’s currently comprehensible, to aid us in knowing ourselves.
History shows how this has always been the case.
At 28 years old, Plato, arguably the most influential Western philosopher, left home to see the world. Historian Will Durant writes in The Story of Philosophy:
In that year 399 B.C., he set out. Where he went we cannot for certain say; there is a merry war of the authorities for every turn of his route.
Did Plato know for certain it was the right thing to do? Did he have a plan? Who knows.
Yet it brings me solace and lights my heart aflame to know that after 2400 years, we’re still discovering what it means to be human.
Twelve years he wandered, imbibing wisdom from every source, sitting at every shrine, tasting every creed. Some would have it that he went to Judea and was moulded for a while by the tradition of the almost socialistic prophets; and even that he found his way to the banks of the Ganges, and learned the mystic meditations of the Hindus. He returned to Athens in 387 B.C., a man of forty now, ripened to maturity by the variety of many peoples and the wisdom of many lands.
It was then, after accumulating life experience, that he wrote his most famous work:
He had knowledge, and he had art; for once the philosopher and the poet lived in one soul; and he created for himself a medium of expression in which both beauty and truth might find room and play — the dialogue.
We’re so lucky to be alive in this modern age, yet it’s also a terrifying and perplexing time. The world is changing at a rate that’s impossible to keep up with; I know I’m not alone when I find it hard to keep my head above water.
On the surface we’re inexorably connected — so much that it feels alien to not let everybody know where we are and what we’re doing.
Plato didn’t give a damn whether people knew he was traveling the world and bettering himself. In fact, he’d probably rather people didn’t know.
He was on the adventure, removed from the noise in Athens, learning. And what we have isn’t a chiseled stone tablet portraying a selfie of Plato in front of the pyramids, although that would be sweet.
We have the inestimable worldly wisdom he gained, distilled in the work he would later produce.
This is coming from someone who spends just as much time on social media as anyone. I want to build something. I want to share who I am; I long to inspire.
Yet, sometimes all I want to do is go dark with the time and space to gaze into my heart.
And maybe I can.
Everyday is an opportunity, because by stepping to the precipice of this new A.I. influenced and interplanetary world, we’re presented with a vast and twinkling solar system of new questions revolving around the single nucleus:
how to get back to being human.
The answers are those which catch fire and burn from within.
I don’t know exactly what I’m doing. I don’t have the answers and I’m not sure I want them. I entwine my spirit with that of Plato’s sensei, Socrates, when he says:
One thing only I know, and that is that I know nothing.
I long to know myself. That, I hope and believe, is the impetus of everything I’m doing.
Ever since I graduated college I’ve felt my soul possessed by the need to experience our world and notice how it shapes me.
I’m here in Japan for that reason.
In the end, there’s nothing we have to do, create, or be. I’m here, having this life-changing adventure for nothing more than the adventure itself.
Who knows what’ll come from it in the future; it’s hard for me to fully perceive what has come from it in the present.
I’m honestly still in a perpetual state of awe just being here.
I’m so damn grateful for that.
Move forth with me in good cheer, for my spirit’s lighter, my gaze is set on the horizon, and I’m as curious as ever to know the beast within.
The pressure means nothing.
Let’s walk the earth without the weight of the world.