Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Art Imitating Life, or Life Imitating Art?

Oscar Wilde once said in his 1889 essay The Decay of Lying that "Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life."

In the essay, Wilde holds that such anti-mimesis "results not merely from Life's imitative instinct, but from the fact that the self-conscious aim of Life is to find expression, and that Art offers it certain beautiful forms through which it may release that energy."

Isn't that a gracefully-accurate description of the life-long desire of us all? To find something in life that conveys one's "self" and expresses your individual talents, personality, and tastes.
At some point, we have all found ourselves wanting "more" out of life from time to time... Sadly, for some this quest is left unfulfilled; even as death stops the search for good.

For others, however, the search ends joyously - in either the practice of art as one's lifework and job; or the consention to practice art as more or less a hobby, but one that adds expression to life none-the-less. I must note that, as Christians, we are "not of this world" (John 15:19--If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.) ... So there will always be a certain deep yearning desire for something we cannot find in this world; whether we look at the beauty in the world itself or we can form art from within ourselves (expression). 

God's art = nature ... 

... Flowers...

.... the scenes of fall....

.... clouds.... 

... snowflakes.... AND.... 

... in US... the human form. 
God created beautiful art when He made the world and
when He made humans to live in the world. 

Despite an ever-present God-filled void, God DID put us on this earth in the first place, and He wants us to have life, "and life more abundant."  We can most assuredly express ourselves and find joy in releasing the energy within ourselves. 

HOW? Well, to each his own.
For me: I find a great artistic quality to the human body itself. Much as I see nature's beauty as the masterpiece at the tip of God's paint brush- so I consider the human body when it is in its peak condition. This is what drives me to train, to persistently perform at my highest level, to improve on a daily basis, to cut away all which holds me back, and to pursue that which drives me continually upward in mind, body, and spirit. It is impossible to train the body without conquering the mind and nourishing the spirit.

Physical training is taking care of your
God given personal masterpiece 

Joy comes from treating God's creation
(yourself and others) with great care and love

I tap my joy and satisfaction from knowing I am doing my best to care for my own God-given vessel, and inspiring others to do the same by sharing my growth, victories, and failures. That's my life as art. In my experience, if life is lived to the fullest- Life IS Art and Art IS Life. I say this because of the uniqueness of each human life. I believe that no life is an imitation of another, but instead: each is completely original, unique, and organically all its own.

Does your life imitate "art?" To answer this, first I must ask- what is artistic to you? What organic beauty do you find yourself striving to be like/ be with/ see/ do ....
After you've identified what you consider to be art, answer me this: 
Is it true that "Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life." ???
Or, as I suggest- Life IS Art and Art IS Life.

I know this is kind of a different topic than usual, but as I was searching for the "next step" in my life I fell into the question of, "What do I want to do with this life?" In the end it came down to: I want to love like God loved me; I want to share that love, and live in that love. I discovered that any accomplishments that I can write up beside my name mean NOTHING if I don't have love... so why not let my life be my song (a form of art) to sing praises to my King, and to bring joy to my spirit? I want nothing more.

~ Ruthie

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