Artists know their territory.
I was reading “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield recently.
One of the many “messages” in the book was that an artist (we all are!) knows his or her territory. We bear the creative impulse to bear and bring forth our “thing”, whatever it may be – music, performance or visual art, writing, architecture, scientific knowledge…
But how do we know what our territory is?
To paraphrase Pressfield, an artist’s territory is that
- which invigorates and sustains him
- which does not require external input or companionship – she only needs to do this alone and the well springs forth from within
- which requires work on his part, that is he must sow in order to reap
This brought to my mind the screen saver on my laptop,
Go where you feel the most alive
which makes me smile a lot because I am there often (for this, I am grateful!).
Coupled with a personal mantra,
Do what matters
they essentially represent the crux of Pressfield’s message regarding an artist’s territory.
Being alive comes with the responsibility of manifesting our creativity – a writer writes, a painter paints, a singer sings, a designer designs… for its own sake. If a goal must be set, perhaps it would be to bring his or her unique beauty – whether visually, or of thought, or of experience – to the world.
So I am asking yet again, what is my territory? Just checking that it is still true.
I don’t believe it will ever change – this place where I feel the most alive amongst books and ideas, in sharing and community, and helping others to experience their day, their life just a fraction better.
Am I doing what matters? How much of me is in this space? This, the eternal question.
Are you doing what makes you the most alive? Are you doing what matters?
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