I was about to write a post about loving oneself and I saw this Boosted ‘invite’ on my personal facebook feed:
I’m also in the draft stage of introducing you to the warm and inspiring Tracy Pepper from Magic Hands and her expedition to summit Mt Kilimanjaro as both a completion of her personal history with ovarian cancer and a way to raise awareness and encourage dialogue around this form of cancer.
I’m about to invite you, or someone you may know, to contribute to Tracy’s journey – both to the African peak and to document the event through film and paper (a doco and book).
I’m aware I’m very much in the space of asking at present.
It’s an interesting verb, is it not? To ask.
Asking is the beginning of receiving. Make sure you don’t go to the ocean with a teaspoon. At least take a bucket so the kids won’t laugh at you.
I feel more people are asking these days, or is it that I have many artist friends, and many people in the throes of parenting young children and living off one income et cetera. Or is an outcome of the ‘recession’ or the end of economic growth as we know it. Whatever the reason I do feel uncomfortable about not responding to some past pleas 1) a friend raising money for her child’s steiner school 2) a fellow thespian wanting help to finance relocating his home in order to be with more supportive/inspirational networks and there was another on PledgeMe along with the traditional charities rattling their money boxes at the ATM machine and wielding their I support…stickers (which i never seem to be wearing).
Is it reality for most that it’s difficult to pay the bills these days? Perhaps there are just too many – the cellphone, the landline/internet, the water, the rubbish bin collection, the WOF. Or is it reality that we’ve all had to downgrade and give up some of the indulgence of the early noughties, and that most of us still live a privileged life compared to most. I think of the live below the line project. I first saw this video last year whilst speaking about wild & grace for Inspiring Stories.
I ask myself what could I give up in order to contribute to someone else’s vision, obstacle or need? Calling and texting from my mobile for one week – $4? The family eating no meat for one week – $80? Not driving the second car for 7 days – $40?
Our body has this defect that, the more it is provided care and comforts, the more needs and desires it finds – Saint Teresa of Avila.
Shall I finish with my point oh I think it may be points?
I believe my points are:
It actually feels good to help. It’s scientifically proven that helping other people brings happiness (ask Sonya Lyubomirksy in The How of Happiness). Keep asking for help, so that people can keep helping, and keep feeling happy doing it.
Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable – George Bernard Shaw.
We need art.
We need voice, stillness, colour, story, vibration, poetry, melody, dissonance, complicite, exhalation, beauty, pause, celebration, congregation, ensemble, spectators, applause, documentation, exposure, movement, breath, laughter, sorrow, release, anticipation, hope, love, dark, possibility, imagination, questions, light, obstacles, witness, contrast, triumph, ovation, encore.
My step dad survived a brain hemorrhage and in the same month a friend’s father did not. My stepdad was cautious about life once released from hospital and reluctantly accepted tickets to Little Che a side-splitting comedy I was tour managing. In the foyer afterwards for the first time in months there was colour and promise in his cheeks, and with a small squeeze above the elbow he thanked me: “That was the longest period of time I’ve stopped thinking about dying, since I can remember”.
I think about New Zealand’s successful Rugby World Cup 2011 and muse at John Key’s party and how typically the right suggests The Arts should be funded by the private/business sector rather than being something so vital that is requires state attention/funding. Then (in my opinion) New Zealand wows the world with an artistic and cultural extravaganza of an opening ceremony. New Zealand used the arts and culture to charm and stun the globe, to sell our land as a destination to dream of, our people as dramatic heroes. Our art worked. Worked. Art works. It does, as in, to do. To create. Art is active. It brings people together. It shares a story. It celebrates. It allows people to breathe together. Laugh together. Mourn together. It heals.
Which is why I support Tracy’s expedition of hope. Not only can art focus on beauty and fantasy or fiction to transport (as Red Leap Theatre Company does), but art can share real-life, for transformation. Especially because I have met Tracy and received her generosity of spirit, and joie de vivre I know her story on paper and in film will be medicine to move further families and patients and friends through the challenges of illness.
Ah, my friends, it is midnight.Enjoy asking. Enjoy receiving. Enjoy being happy, healing and creative. Enjoy giving. In any way you can.