I've just finished reading a recent post at what is perhaps my favorite blog: Sexuality In The Arts. Its title is deceptive in the sense of what it implies about the blog. It's a lot about the arts, yes. But it's also about loving, living and how personal expression can have an impact on lives - privately, socially, politically and spiritually.
Perhaps because of the path I'm currently traveling, One More Option, the author of Sexuality In The Arts, has become a sort of teacher. As is typical, OMO's post is about a lot of things but what I've taken away from it most is this, the ending paragraph:
I’m not a big fan of traditional boundaries. When life has given me boundaries, I’ve often responded by building sustainable archways, gates, bridges and tunnels - anything that might help people avoid being confined.
Whether it be physical, political or spiritual confinement, I can think of nothing more hellish. I find it especially sad when people impose confinement and isolation upon themselves and resist those who, in good faith, attempt to offer another path. Perhaps that path is not where they think they want to go. And granted, there are paths of various lengths, that lead to many places; not all of them acceptable to all of us.
My feeling is that we can walk down a path that is not for us, perhaps by the hand of someone else and still hold tight to who we are and what we believe. If that path is not leading to a place we like, or the view is not what we want to see along the way, we can always come back to where we started or take another path that leads back to where we want to be. To me that doesn't necessarily mean we have to unconditionally accept the path that is not for us. What it means is that we walked it and that we attempted to do so in another's shoes. It could very well mean that the path was not for us but it does give us another perspective. Perhaps even some common ground with the person who invited us to walk.
What I hold as an ideal for myself is not always how I manage to behave. I try. I try so hard. Mostly I fail, as I consider myself much more of a student than a teacher or sage. When I see how very far I have to go, I feel infantile. It does not stop me from attempting those few first steps. When I read something like the post by OMO, I feel a sense of wanting to try even harder. That is why I look up to her so much.
Paths not walked, when we are invited to do so, are a type of confinement. I choose to walk the paths I'm invited to walk upon. There are bridges, many bridges, that I want so badly to cross and have no idea how. I want to learn how. Everywhere I turn there are walls. We can either curl up and accept our confinement or we can paint a picture, write a poem or compose a song. Others then can see what we have to say. If we're lucky, we can be invited to tear down the wall - together - when we can see what each of us have to say and where it may lead us.
One More Option: thank you for being my teacher.
Yours in Peace,
lines and colors :: a blog about drawing, painting, illustration, comics, concept art and other visual arts
Rob Gonsalves (1959 – 2017)
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