In the weeks of COVID-19 we’ve all been confronted with a part of our own identity. It’s the part that says, “What do you do?” and is measured against, “Is what you do valuable?”
There is now language around essential and non-essential workers. Freelancers and employees have had dramatically different journeys even if they were working for the same organization. In this context we have also struggled to acknowledge the importance of the arts and find ways to support artists (and many others that don’t fit nicely into the current economy).
The arts are indeed a unique aspect of our culture. We are enamored by the creations that come from the imaginations of talented artists. These heightened expressions of song, music, poetry, dance, and painting, drawing, and sculpture (among others), capture and activate something within us with such power…we begin to think that only certain people are meant to be making things. We think only certain people are allowed to engage their imagination and bring it to life. This is patently untrue.
There is at one thing that every single human being makes. One thing that we all are continually in the process of making, and re-making. One thing that is of the utmost importance. More than any piece of art, or invention.
That is a relationship. Everything that we do is in relationship to someone or something. Relationships are everywhere, and we are always in the middle of them. How we approach our actions, words, and thoughts, will show up in our relationships. How we approach our relationships will show up in our actions, words, and thoughts.
Relationships are the most beautiful creations of all, and are super powerful. What happens in relationship affects everything. Relationships multiply the fruits of an inner-life well lived. They can be a communal embodiment of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and intentional composure.
With this in mind, we can imagine the kind of relationships we would like to be in. We can all work as artists – thoughtfully and attentively building and working, slowly making and re-making with care – all the relationships we are already in, and those we long for.