There Really Is Only You to Do What Only You Can Do

This is not a new epiphany. It is not even new to me, this realization I had yesterday as I cleaned my house: 

I am the only "me" in existence. I am the only one who can do the things I do: cleaning my house during the day, taking care of my child, writing the poems that are coming from deep within and taking photos. 

Let's explore those last few. Sometimes I feel like it doesn't really matter that I am doing them. They're "just" an expression of me, just part of my everyday existence (like doing the laundry). I see things. I take photographs. I can't take photographs of things I don't see. 

I cannot take photographs of things that I do not see. 

I cannot write words that I do know. I cannot write your story, I can only write mine (or envision yours in a way that makes it part of mine). I can write the poems that come from me, in the moment that I am writing them. And if I do not write them, they are not written. 

I do not expect that every day in April I will stand here, in front of my keyboard (or sit down, holding my iPod) and write the best poem I have ever written. I do not even expect each day's poem will even be good, to tell you the absolute truth, though I do spend time on them, polishing. I am not spewing words, I have been taught form and craft. I use form and craft when I write, that's part of me, being me.

Art is embedded in us, part of our soul's gift on this planet. Craft is learned. We practice so we can embrace both, turn craft into art inside our soul, which is ours. Art is freedom, craft is boundary. Art needs craft because there is no limitless space where we can see all/ know all (without drugs and even then I do not believe that is a true seeing... the infinite is too tremendous for anyone to grasp). Art becomes finite, touchable, seeable, knowable, shareable through craft. 

The craft of looking through a viewfinder and knowing when to take the shot (or after, editing so that that moment is heightened). 

The craft of putting words on paper/ typing them into a blank screen: language, grammar, structure. (And we can break these rules if we know them. There's a world of difference between ee cumming's use of fractal language and txt spk. Though we can use txt spk as yet another medium, if we know the rules.)


And so, I charge you: learn and grow. Build the foundation of your craft and explore it through your art. Do the things that only you can do!


Where would we be if Shakespeare (or the one we call Shakespeare) had not written? Where would be without Emily Dickinson's poems. Frida Kahlo's paintings? Where will we be if YOU didn't do what only you can do? 


This is real. This is touchable. You make a difference (look at the laundry pile, or your sleepless nights with a sick baby, or your partner whose eyes gleam when s/he looks at you). Look at the clothes you wear and the songs you listen to. Everything you do, only you do as a whole. YOU matter. What we do matters. 

Begin.