“It is the things you say no to that really show the commitment to your growth.” – Yung Pueblo
I opened a book by a poet I never heard of on a rainy afternoon while distracting myself from a decision I was avoiding to make. Saying no was never a problem for me as it is for some. It rolls off my tongue after many years of practice with my kids. Even before kids, though, it was not hard. Being an observer, I am used to the gripping feeling of hesitation, not wanting to commit myself to anything I’m not 150% about. Being in the background provided a sense of safety and ability to watch things unfold before I make a decision about it. It’s not a bad way to live but even I can see this is a limited lifestyle.
“But what if I said yes?” I said to myself wandering around the bookstore feeling slightly put off at the notion of agreeing to something with no sure footing or certainty to the future. Energy is in short supplies these days with running a house hold with two kids and trying to maintain an artistic life at the same time.
I eventually found myself standing in front of the poetry section which is not unusual for me, since it is closest to the art books. I enjoy the flow and ease of words that poets seem to orchestrate which contrasted with my internal whirlwind of thoughts so I skimmed the books briefly before pulling a unknown author and opened it. I stared at the words and they stared back me pointedly. Small as they were their accusation shot through me like a bullet. How can words have such an effect on us? One sentence with no more than 16 words snapped me back into my body much like a rubber band vibrating uncontrollably is snapped back into position.
“It is the things you say no to that really shows your commitment to your growth”
There it is. Standing in front me, challenging my perceptions of my life. Challenging my notion that I, in my conceit, was committed to growth. That’s when it dawned on me that it was never about success or failure. It is not about what I am but what I am becoming. It is about being present in the moment and the moments are always changing, why….why would I want to stop this? Sure there could be painful moments but there are painful moments in a static unchanging life as well. Pain indicates change and change means growth and growth means depth and a richness that a static life could never bring me. And is that not what art is all about? Depth and richness?
So I will say yes as often as I can and when I say no it means I truly cannot commit to it due to another reason. With this in mind, I am please to announce that I have accepted to become the Artist-in-Residence at my home church Central United Methodist Church in Endicott. I say become because it is an action word and I intend to grow into something more than what I am now. In that state of becoming and the interconnections that we have on this journey, the growth will than spread out to others. Good art, bad art, it’s not the point. The point is that it changes us. Its salts us to gives us the community and companionship that we desperately need and crave.
What do you intend to say yes to?