If I were a Tree

BLOG  JUNE 3 If I were a tree…

It occurs to me that in this age of narcissism and ME-mindedness we have learned that the mind is a selfish and creative entity. MIND craves attention and purpose.  As communication allows for simultaneous connection and disconnectedness, we have evolved, so far, into a culture of self-expressive vultures, accounting for the vast glut of movies, books, visual artworks, theater pieces and other creative output. We all have a lot to say, don’t we?

I feel I am struggling to do the impossible. To give voice and not be heard is a burden, not a pleasure. Like a tree falling in the forest, if it is not heard, does it make a sound? But the tree never asks, “Should I grow?” It grows. It struggles to the light. It produces seeds and eventually may or may not fall. It exists, whether conscious or not, as an entity in process. And its existence matters, with or without a witness. If it falls, whether or not it is heard, it makes a wave. I tell myself, “I am an entity in process.” I struggle to the light. I have produced seeds. I grow. Yet I wonder, is it enough, this process, if I am not heard?

And I think about all the art and all the artists and I understand that I am a tree in the forest. My process is enough, almost. Yet, unlike a tree, I crave attention and purpose. Trees cannot read. I try, but I cannot ignore The New York Times. I am reminded that the only way to remain an entity is through competition. This is not only my biological destiny…the Times tells me Darwin was right about that…but it is also the imperative of the critic to remind me that I am not good enough to be heard. Maybe there is something to be said for the critic. Someone must be able to tell us which art is worth something. Worth. Something. What does this mean? What has value? That which sells and supports the system has value. The critic is no dummy. He is a despot. Despotically (yes I made that up, too)…despotically connected to a system that supports him. The critic is a survivor. A promoter. The only people who make any real money in the arts are the lawyers, and the advertising people. The critic is part of the ad team. This is not my opinion. It is a fact. You can Google it.

But back to the point. TMI. Too Much Information. We have too much and want to share it all. We are in a creative age. To me, this means the artist withdraws from the world to hear her MIND. To put pen to paper, brush to canvas, feet to dance or words to music to release what is brewing inside. We are boiling over. We need to be heard. How do we survive when the despots are no longer objective? The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the forest.

Posted on June 3, 2011 and filed under Un-Blog Me!.