Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Give The Gift

Give what you have. To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.

This is the story of the fly and the artist.
One summer day, having just had my lunch, I was sitting staring out the window (as we old folks do) when I noticed a fly on the windowsill. Time was I would have swatted that fly, summarily ended its life and its career. But the fly was barely moving. It was having trouble opening it's wings and taking a step seemed to be agony to it.

Curious, I took a bread crumb from my lunch plate and put it down near the fly. In a moment the fly sensed the crumb, slowly and painfully moved over to it and sucked every bit of liquid out of it.. Then, in another few moments, it spread it's wings and flew away. I won't forget that fly, obviously. What to me was an errant bread crumb to the fly was survival, a banquet filled with the elixir of life.
From the bottomless well of imagination an artist can draw inspiration and create something important. The creation is the first step. Next comes the sharing. One of the sublime purposes of art is to serve the world. But a more expansive way of thinking about it is to build community. Art provides an earnest invitation to share the sharing. The third step is the experience gained from enjoying the work, the poem, the painting, the song, whatever it is.

One can go through an art museum and see many works that are of little meaning to the viewer One may even see paintings that one doesn't like. But there is always the chance that something will pass right by the critical sense and proceed directly to one's heart and mind. "The Piano Lesson" by Matisse did that for me when I turned a corner one day at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and there it was. It changed my life.

The next step is presenting back to the world what has happened to one as a result of the experience. The Matisse painting didn't make me a better painter, I wasn't even painting in those days. It made me a better man and hence a better actor. I could not measure the depths or types of effects that experience had on me, but I know this, somewhere, one day, my work may have done the same to someone else.

In theatre we invite the audience to share in our experience. We provide the hospitality and a tangible but non-material something of value which they can take with them if they wish and use to improve their lives and the life of someone else.

Give what you have. To you it may seem to be only a crumb, but to someone else it may be of inestimable worth.

DB - Vagabond Journeys

(This is not a contest)

What was the most significant event that happened in 2010?


Only 7 responses so far

I await your answer.


pacifica62 said...

We may never know how much our "gifts" affect other people. It is our job to make sure that those gifts get given so others have the opportunity to change their life or their thinking. I kind of like the story about the fly --- gross as they are.

olddog said...

Thanks DB,
your post are always food for thought.

DB said...

Thank you Pacifica.
Thank you olddog.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Collect enough crumbs, and you have a scrap, collect enough scraps and you have a slice, collect enough slices and you have a loaf...