art of living

The Art of Living

The essence of beautiful art is gratitude – Fredrich Nietzche

What is the Art of Living? I’ve come to see the expression of our lives as art. Art takes on many forms and it makes us feel. An art museum displays paintings, sculptures, photos, and sketches of all types; modern, abstract, pretty, dark. We don’t understand them all, but they make us feel the feels. The written word, a favorite book, a poem, a movie, a song, a dance. The Arts invoke feelings, expression, creation, and inspiration.

I feel inspired by life, and I must express it – this is the Art of Living.

My life is a work on canvas; a masterpiece in the making. I am covered with the Fingerprints of God – as Stephen Curtis Chapman penned in one of my favorite songs.

My masterpiece is tragic and beautiful: It is song and it is silence. It is loss and it is mountain tops. It is regret and it is gratitude. It is blank and it is explosion. It is an expression of my free will with no expectation of the outcome.

My body needs to physically move in gratitude and expression of what’s happening on the inside. I feel like a butterfly coming out of a cocoon and the pleasure of God is expressed through my movements. This feeling became clearer after reading Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon. He says,

“Art that only comes from the head isn’t any good, Bring your body into your work. Motion kickstarts our brain into thinking. Plant a plant, walk the dog, dance, clean, read a book, go somewhere.”

Austin Kleon, Steal Like An Artist

Getting my body in motion seems to set my brain free for expression and creativity. 

I feel the need to speak the goodness of God. His goodness is being expressed through me as I write. My soul is full of beautiful words waiting to be expressed for the benefit of myself and others. It is a gift of gratitude I can give back to God for who He is and who He created me to be. 

The work on canvas is the story of my life. Written, painted, drawn, splotched, etched, and molded. It is said that life is lived forward but understood backward.  It is in looking backward that I can see it is covered with the fingerprints of God.

When the time is right, the veil is removed.  All is stripped away except for me and my creator. Each time the masterpiece is revealed, I can look back and see the beauty in the journey. 

Can you see the journey of your life expressed in Art? What would your masterpieces look like?

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