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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Column: It’s everywhere

In your hands.

In your eyes.

In your heart.

It’s art.

But the literature of that is just the first part.

What has to follow, or what I am inclined to encourage, is the pursuit of art as a pursuit of life that inspires more life.

In the grand poetic sphere of things, everything is artistic. After all, we’re here as the result of billions of years of collisions of atoms in an endless story of who knows what else to make physical matter, matter intellectually. That’s not science alone. That’s art.

In the more immediate dimension of an imperfect existence, however, it would seem that we live in a rather inartistic world.

For how could poverty and starvation in the 21st century be poetic?

And how could art lie in politicians pocketed by the rich?

Surely there can be nothing of art in religious fanaticism justifying violence.

And a “B” on that assignment you worked so hard for isn’t artistic; it’s just bullshit, isn’t it?

But that’s the point at which I think we could benefit to slow things down a bit.

That’s where I suggest that the greatest art is the act of balance — the art of making peace with ourselves, to in turn make peace with everyone and everything else.

To let art be.

Consider that no artist in history has ever created anything perfect. Even the Mona Lisa, Leonardo Da Vinci’s most revered masterpiece, is flawed. But in order for the painting to be free to be loved by the world, despite its imperfections, Da Vinci had to let it go.

The same is true for life; for growing up and being flawed at every turn of it. And now I am at a point where I see my mistakes and the rest of the world’s not only as flaws, but as acts of art; of the art of being young, or the art of being ignorant. Ultimately, where regardless of the good or bad of our ways, it is all still a part of the art of simply being human.

It is at this same point where I see the absurdity of the society we live in not only as the result of human error, but as the very balance of the universe that is in itself an art in its imprecision with life as its anatomical imperfection.

Where to exist is naturally to make mistakes and create flawed things, flawed ways of being, in chaos.

And where to truly live is to make peace with the chaos to in turn find the art.

The next few days will be some of the best times in which to observe imperfection as art. Elections, for one, will have flurries of our parents and fellow students berating one another over what best way they see fit to attempt to establish order. It’s a joke, really, but it’s taken very seriously, even by those who call elections a joke and refuse to participate as a result of themselves taking the system and its flaws much too seriously.


And I contradict myself in this way too, but then I just laugh about it.

Because laughter is that art after the act of balance, where no politics are too serious and no history is too grave, and where no ignorance is so ridiculous that it’s not a part of that same imperfection that makes us all human.

It’s what makes starvation and poverty human; what makes politicians and fundamentalists human, and what makes governments and even corporations and unfair grades human. Human mistakes of course, but ones which are nonetheless still a part of the art born from the anatomical flaw that is existence.

I know it’s complicated for a moment, but then it’s just laughable.

It’s art.

And so in that moment of difficulty which threatens the art of your troubled life with yet more imperfections, why not make peace with the chaos and accept all that’s wrong with existence as a necessary part of balance?

Why wait until tomorrow to laugh at yourself and the absurd world you’re a part of?

In the moment where politics or history or any other unfairness threatens to overwhelm you, let it go.

To be free and be loved.

Be art.

After all, it’s not just a part of who you are, it’s how you are.

And it’s everywhere.

JIMMY RECINOS is waiting to hear from you at jrecinos@ucdavis.edu.


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