Art by Melissa Wilson

Part I

I’m vibrating.

I am shedding the stories and the narratives, the artist’s fictions that we have been telling ourselves, both on a collective and on a very individual level, and I am slowly rolling into this place of, well, life. I sit, and I experience, and I am in life, not in head, not perpetuating thought process and patterns that limit me and diminish me, deplete my energy and call me crazy. I am in the thickness, and the gentle thinness, of life. I see, I hear. These toes, they drag along the carpet. I crack them, my feet, because it feels simple, and good. The sounds of the outdoors, the construction. The people, doing the life, living to the best of their abilities, given what they have, given their circumstances. They know what they know, and they are as full as they are, every second of the way.

I feel a gentle gratitude for my Being Here. And as soon as I recognize that this an existing frequency that I can attune and re-attune and re-attune and re-attune to, I feel an immense pleasure in this life, this mythical lifetime. I feel a pleasure from the opportunity to go and get my blanket that I bought from the bookstore, the soft one, the feathery light one, the one that has experienced a lot, like a child, or their blanket. I will go get this now.

I wrapped it around my legs, and as I sit in a typing meditation here, with my water to flush my system, I listen to the little clicks of the keys, typing words that are coming from places not yet known, for they come like a curious climax, not knowing that you had it in you, not knowing what it’s all about, nor why it is all here in the first place. All you know, all we know, is that it’s here, it’s around, and it’s accessible, these feelings, these loves, these realizations, this channeling.

I read a horoscope today for the month of June. It told me that a little ennui has settled in, and that I must have the spice. It encouraged me to find creative ways to snap myself out of the boredom blues, and also that if anyone can find ways to get my kicks, it’s me. Since I feel that I have been cleansing myself, draining that which no longer serves me, I feel I’ve been left with a lot of room, a lot of open space. Opportunities, everywhere, in every corner, in every rolling field. This openness is unfamiliar, for, as noted, I’ve been spending my time telling myself stories about people and the people they know, the kinds of people they are, the kinds of illnesses they have. And so with the shedding of this filth, I am left, sitting with room, time, and space for creation. I sit in awe every day of my life. I am finding it hard to believe how clear and simple things can be upon hushing the humming craving to call someone a psychopath, adding unnecessary complexity that only furthers myself from all other beings, distancing myself both from other loving creatures and myself, for me and these creatures, we are no different.

I sit, connected. Connected to and with all things, all beings, all of Life. And at first I perceived this space as, well, a burden. As something with weight. And once I admitted this to myself, that it was challenging for me to fill my (new) reality with, well, with anything, this challenge dissolved into bliss, into a quiet ecstasy, for everything, every pursuit, quickly became accessible to me just recently. Nothing is out of reach to me anymore. These limits, I now see, I have set up myself. And with the dissolution of them, I am free. In this newness, there is room to flow freely and to perform, to act and reenact art. To demonstrate. And so I place myself within an artistic context, the artworld, a sphere in which I can move and, well, exist in ways that others may just consider artistic – art. I, however, have been blurring the lines between that which is art and that which is not. This in itself is a thought pattern, one in which I have been practicing, stretching it like a muscle, building it up to the point where it’s just habitual, to see the laundry machine as something worthy, as an art, its own little process, its own little creature, its own Soul. That ladybug? A masterpiece. That time you fell in fifth grade? Enormously perfect. Outrageously beautiful.

Part II

We have evolved in such a way where we perceive only some things as, well, artistic. Having the opportunity to take an entire course on the philosophy of and behind art as a concept for me truly was mind-expanding.

I’ve been interrupted by a YouTube ad: “The arts make us richer. It inspires and pushes us to develop new perspectives. It causes us to see the world in a different light. It can put our head in the clouds and plant our feet more firmly on the ground. We get so much inspiration from the arts. That’s why we support the arts in Canadian communities. You’re richer than you think: Scotiabank.” And that’s just it.

I forget exactly how I rolled into becoming more and more of a performance artist, because upon reflection now, I realize that I’ve always been one, since birth, and hell, probably conception. Every time I’m asked if I’m an artist, I now happily confirm the title, and reassure the asker that they too are one. After an interpretive dance piece I did for a friend’s musical-psychedelic duo set last weekend, a man in the audience asked me if I was a dancer, to which I reminded him that we are all dancers. We are all movers, we are all flowing, and we are all creating, every time we choose anything in life, and even not choosing is a choice. Everything you do, every word you utter, every time you smoke, everything you smoke, damn, all of it. All of it I feel is creation, and creation and art to me are synonymous, terms used interchangeably, to remind us of the beauty of all things, in all things, surrounding us at all times. It makes uncomfortable first dates a little humorous, let me tell you, because when you remember that all of life is simply playing and performing, choosing, you’re golden. Everything feels lighter. You get to release any tensions or expectations of how you think life, or your life, should be. You begin to open up to the harmonious fluidity of everything.

Performing in an artistic sphere is a lot like this, because anything is welcome. Everything is seen through an artistic sort of scope. It can be confusing for some, in terms of when the art begins and when the art ends. Does it begin when the song begins? When the young lady in the costume starts to sing and twitch and shift? Does it end with an applause? Or does the art of it all begin the moment the art-goer enters the gallery space, the so-called space for the arts to take place? Does it begin much before that? Is your life art? Would you hang yourself in a gallery?