What I want is a Stage… and an Audience… and a Community of Artists!

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. ~ Marianne Williamson

For the last month, I have been going through The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron… “Creativity as a Spiritual Practice” is the subtitle. It is a 12-week course designed to help blocked creatives unblock. There are a lot of writing exercises. This is not just a course for writers – it is for any artist and it has been used for many years by tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of people with terrific results. Basically, any artist I have ever had the privilege to speak to about their craft, will at some point refer back to The Artist’s Way. I have started it myself several times, only to bail at some point about week two, claiming I don’t have time. Well – if I don’t give myself the time to open myself up to my art, what will keeping myself from art really get me in the end? Nothing.

I have an artist son. Every time he comes up with a new plan for a different form of art, a different medium, I am quick to jump in with both feet to help him learn what he needs to learn to explore with his vivid imagination some new viewpoint for his artist soul. Here’s the kicker. I sometimes put my own artistic dreams and desires on the back burner. I am finding, through reading The Artist’s Way, that this is a typical stalling method.

Here is what I want – my biggest dream and desire. I want to connect with the art here in my town. I want to explore the artistic outlooks of the people right here, especially the youth in this town of Eagle Point, Oregon. I believe there are people right here that are busting at the seams to share their creativity through poetry or songwriting, through visual art or performing art. I do not want to drive all the way to Ashland to go to an Open Mic to perform my poetry. I want to create an Open Mic here in Eagle Point. I am hoping there are enough like-minded individuals in this town to make this happen.

Right in the Centennial Plaza that is in downtown Eagle Point – I want to start meeting on the Third Thursday of every month starting at about 6:00 p.m. and see who joins me. We probably won’t need an actual microphone to start – there might only be a few of us. But as we create a warm, inviting place to practice and perform, to share our art, it will grow. I think people should feel free to bring a portfolio of their work, or a sample of a painting. Bring your sketches, your notebooks full of poems, your guitar and your song. Let’s create a community right here that encourages growth and success.

Sharing art isn’t always pretty. It won’t all be lovely – I know that going in. Some of it will be raw. It will hurt. But it hurts more staying in. It hurts to sit in there all by itself with no one to say Yes to it. Yes to the pain, Yes to the big scary world, Yes to your heart and your soul and your spirit, your voice and your words. Yes! Do you hear me? Yes! Say it loud. Say it quiet if you need to – but say it. Speak your heart. Speak your words. Fill the lines with your letters. Fill the pages, fill the canvas, fill the square, fill the symphony hall, fill my head and your head. Fill this town. Fill the world with your words and your rhythm. Fill it all in with your loopdy-loop letters. Tell us all. Tell us what you think and what you feel! Tell us who you dream of becoming!

This is a call to arms. A call to poets and writers. Are there poets and writers, lyricists, singers and songwriters in this crowd – visual artists and sculpters, dancers and drummers?

Third Thursdays – lets meet at the Centennial Plaza and spice things up around here! Let’s write and read, sing and dance for eachother. Let’s be artists and poets who change the world, one little tiny Southern Oregon town at a time.

photo from here