I harp a lot about seeing the world adventurously.
In my last post, I shared my reaction to the movie Loving Vincent, the world’s first oil-painted movie about the death of Vincent van Gogh.
Today, I’m talking about another artist.
His paintings are otherworldly dreamscapes. When I dream in technicolor, the images resemble what I see on his canvases: Rich and haunting, distorted and childlike. His art always makes me believe I can fly.
And I don’t think I can fly these days. The fallout from my incurable disease has fundamentally altered me. I’m scared and timid, scattered and exhausted. While I’m still a professional on a stage or on the page, in private my heart aches. My soul is barren. When I tried to describe how I feel to my husband recently, I drew a hot air balloon tethered to the ground.
“Here’s where I need to be,” I whispered as I scrawled a line to the sun. “But these cables are cemented to the earth. They won’t break.”
I also drew a cache of weapons, good for shooting me down if I ever broke free. So much for living adventurously, huh?
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s exhibit on Marc Chagall’s designs for the stage was a riotous antidote to my malaise.
Marc Chagall designed sets and costumes for three ballets and one opera during his lifetime. As I wandered through rooms packed with his paintings-come-to-three-dimensional-life, I was gobsmacked. How adventurous of a painter with no theatrical experience to say yes the first time! With every outing, his creations became more ambitious, more daring.
By the end, I was in tears.
I’m not afraid to live adventurously, not anymore, and that means living to feed my soul. It’s liberating to choose experiences that interest me, regardless of ratings or the incessant online chorus of don’t bothers. I believe experiences call to us because they have a critical life ingredient. When I let others talk me out of those adventures, I’m missing an experience that will mould and morph my life and impact everything I create.
See how adventure shapes my fiction.