Art as a Metaphor for Life
Have you ever thought of a painting (fill in your respective creative poison here) as a metaphor for your life? We all struggle with the desire to control our universe, our circle of influence, and to accept those things we cannot change.
Such is the dance of the artist. Just as the painter must choose what’s true in the universe of his painting, so we do in our lives. I sometimes think of my life as an ever changing and evolving tapestry, interwoven into the tapestries of others. Sometimes the fibers intertwine, sometimes they stand apart in the creative patterns of our tapestry, but they all exist in the same universe.
In the universe of a painting, I chose the light source, the colors, the effects of gravity, the atmospheric conditions, what kind of life exists there, etc. These elements are what is true in this particular universe.
As when writing a play, the characters must live and act in the given circumstances; they are part of the story of the world in which the play is set. Sometimes in a play or a painting, an empowering event takes place to change the circumstances, either an external force or one initiated by the characters. The universe is changed. Some characters adapt, some do not. The result is drama and hopefully meaning.
At the end of our lives, as in a play, we hope for the main character to have had a exciting ride, perhaps even enjoying a happy ending. Recognizing the universe in which we find ourselves is the first step to changing it. We must understand what we can control and what is beyond our control? The answer may surprise us. As in any creative endeavor, the artist must become aware of what is truly subject to change in the universe he has chosen. If he/she doesn’t like something and it is within his/her power to change, a choice is presented and bravery is often required. Desires become action and anything is possible. Depends on what’s in your universe.