31 December 2014

48 – Make Yourself Forever

Two things inspired this essay: 1) recent conversations with my uncle, Ross, and 2) George Harrison.

Uncle Ross is a huge Beatles fan. Evidence: most families show family pictures in their front rooms. A picture of John Lennon kept watch over his. End of story.

I first heard of George Harrison when The Travelling Wilburys decided to record some songs. I was a kid. George, and The Wilburys at large, really impressed me. But Uncle Ross taught me that George had been much more than a Wilbury, long time ago when he was fab.

Let’s fast-forward twenty-odd years. For the past few months myself and Uncle Ross have been playing a game of ‘share-songs-by-ex-Beatles.’ It’s a fun game that’s easy on the ears.   

A lot of those songs have been George’s. Sometimes we remark on how great the song is. Other times we discuss George’s underrated solo career. And we lament what a pity it is that he’s gone.

And that got me to thinking about art, and why we should make it. So this essay’s about that.

Last year I wrote about letting The Real You breathe by being creative. I still believe myself. But I’ve come to believe something more:

Being creative, being The Real You, is a way to make yourself forever. 

Art is the language of the soul. It’s a universal language that transcends culture and race, politics and class, money and stuff. Art cuts through all that hot air and bullshit and does something The World is terrible at.

Art brings us together.

Art is the great crossroads of the human spirit. It’s that intersection where our imaginations and skills meet with our innermost thoughts and feelings. Art, in all its forms, enables our genuine, authentic selves to speak. It is the unspeakable essence of us made real and given to the world.

The Power that made this universe possible created us to exist within its space and time. Creation is the most amazing and powerful process that exists in the universe. It’s always happening, always changing, and always will be.

Yet we can’t live forever. Our bodies are made of organic matter. We’re designed to die.

But we’re also designed with a deep desire to matter. We long to mean something to others and the universe at large. Our spirit, the essence of what makes us who we are, wishes to live on.

And we can.

Art allows us to create. It’s a gift that enables us to put something of our genuine selves back in to the universe. Art allows us to live on and matter long after we’re gone.

Art is us made forever.

You need to show that you matter. Make the art that says who you really are. Write the story or poem you’ve drafted in your head. Sing the song or play the music you’ve hummed to yourself. Paint the picture you’ve seen in your daydreams. Make the thing with your hands that you’ve blueprinted in your mind. Make your imagination real.

Create your art in the form that appeals most to you. Who cares if it’s not good? Who cares if you don’t become famous or rich by it? That’s not the point. It never has been. You need to let The Real You come to life. You owe it to The Power that has miraculously allowed you to exist in this universe.

Make yourself forever. It’s the best gift you can ever give.

People will remember you for it.

And someone remembered never truly dies.




“But in the rising sun you can feel your life begin,
universe at play inside your DNA,
and you're a billion years old today,
  Oh, the rising sun and the place it's coming from,
is inside of you and now your payment's overdue,

Oh, the rising sun"

- George Harrison

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