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Your Past is the Prologue

September 13, 2010

A few days ago I was having one of my multi-tasking moments…painting on my rock “homes”, watching the US Open Tennis and wondering what the subject of  my next blog would be. I am an obsessed ‘ad’ muter but because I had so much on the go I did not get to the mute button in time.  I was not really listening to the ads but one sentence jumped out at me.  “Your Past is the Prologue” or something close to that.  When I looked up I saw an add for the video game,  Metroid.  Brilliance I thought.   A light-bulb moment had occurred for me!!

People are so absolutely obsessed with the past that they cripple themselves and their ability to create.  Artists can be particularly bad at letting a past experience get in the way of having the courage to forge ahead undaunted.  We tend to let the critiques that we have received at childhood from teachers, parents, siblings, do the crippling.  We give ‘power’ to the statements we’ve heard, the actions we have experienced, without realizing the effect this has on our abilities to think ‘out of the box’ as adults.  As adults we continue to reinforce our past hurts by choosing to see and hear these messages over and over again.

The shear brilliance of the statement ‘Your Past is the Prologue’ gives each of us the freedom to place those experiences that do not support our future  behind us, fully realizing that from this point forward the ball is in our court.  What we make of any creative act, or our life for that matter, is absolutely up to us.  How freeing is that!!!

There is a  flip side to this brilliant  idea that has a much more positive angle to it.  We have all had wonderful, memorable experiences that have also been instrumental in helping us become who we are.  These are the events worth keeping in the story line.  I like this definition of  prologue the best:  An event or act which precedes and leads up to some greater event.  If we chose to take those experiences from our past that will help us become better human beings, better artists and leave the rest behind, we might be very surprised at the great events that will occur.

Who's Curious

For artists it is important to rekindle childhood curiosity, insight, playfulness and observation.  If these are the parts of our individual ‘prologues’ that we chose to bring forward in our lives and our work we will see amazing results and we will have fun in the process.

So, the next time you want to create something, take a deep breath, pick up your brush, focus, look carefully and begin.  No white paper (or canvas) fright allowed, no doubts, little voices telling you it will be too difficult to accomplish.  The only voice allowed is the child’s voice of ‘just do it, have fun’!

Happy painting or whatever your creative act might be!

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