Article and Photography
By: Curtis Beaird
So, now you have your dream. It’s quiet. The neighbors are few and far between. The grass is green. The trees are tall and stately, offering a warm cocoon of longed-for silence.
Boredom is real. Think about it. We spend our life awash in external stimulation. Even the maddening crowd doesn’t seem so bad now. At least when we were crowd dodging, we never realized how numb we were.
Boredom is bad, but numb is frightening. The silence of the trees. The quiet magic of the green grass growing. A yellow butterfly. Where is the tension, the stress? Where are the jangling habits of anticipation and complaint that make city life the exciting, exhausting, tasty, angering aggravation that it is? At least a small burst of road rage lets us know we are alive.
Numb needs risk. Real risk. Something has to be at stake for life to taste sweet. The edge of silence is an abyss calling for a creative response. The gaping abyss of the woods waits in its frightening silence for us to fill it with something, anything, but, it’s our choice. Our offering can be nothing or our best. Again, it’s our choice. Scary, huh? The city makes its demands. It tempts us to believe its illusive promise. The tall trees stand in a dark void and wait.
City noise, the bungling crowd, teaming malls jammed with stuff, promising delight, asks nothing of us but to survive the traffic and bring money. We settle for the risk of crossing a jammed intersection. We settle for the sites and sounds that threaten to overwhelm or satisfy us. We confuse the creative process with a burst of adrenalin, regardless of how it’s produced. Our numb remains hidden in the jangle of the city.
The fight or flight choice won’t paint a Sistine chapel. Passion, faith, risk of real failure and work, will create that and more. Numb needs risk to become life. Real risk. Something has to be at stake for life to taste sweet. The tall trees wait.
Copyright 2011, Curtis Beaird. All rights reserved.