The world can be a cruel place. Even the modern world in which we live,cushioned and protected inside of our carefully constructed bubbles, sustained by too much coffee, 5-hour Energy drinks, and year-round tomatoes, can be heartrendingly ruthless underneath the fluff. People are still fragile. Nothing illustrates this as clearly as the recent events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. I'm not even sure my mind can fully comprehend such tragedy. Because there is nothing I can say that could adequately express the grief that this community is dealing with, I'm not going to discuss that situation here.
Yes, there is bad in the world, but there is also good and today I'm going to write about that. While it doesn't diminish the pain or help to make sense of the senseless killing of children, it is reassuring to know that the good exists out there. At least for me it is.
Recently, I've found a stronghold of goodness in an unexpected place. Artists and writers, creative sorts of all types, are pretty nice people in my experience. Now, when I said that I didn't expect it, I don't mean that I thought creative people were jerks. What I mean is, this little pocket of civility and encouragement in my life is completely unexpected. I really didn't expect to be interacting with artists on a daily basis. For most of my life, I'd never even thought of myself as creative. Once I did start making art, I wanted to meet like-minded folks but I really had no connection to the art scene, local or otherwise. So what am I doing with dozens of e-mails from artists in my inbox?
As you know, I've been slowly developing Ink & Alchemy. It started out as just a name to use when I created a Facebook page for my own art and writing, and was a little bit of a play on words and a reference to my background as a chemist. It has come to mean so much more to me. Ink & Alchemy is growing into itself and taking on layers of meaning which are related to my creative journey. About a month ago, I decided to begin contacting artists asking for permission to share images of their artwork. Check my website for more details about the I&A Featured Artist Program. The point is, without exception, all of the artists that I've contacted have been incredibly helpful and encouraging. Most of them make a point of thanking me for my support of the artistic community. Every time I click to open a response e-mail from an artist, I smile because each of these interactions make my day a little better. I am truly grateful for the generosity of spirit that I've been lucky enough to tap into.
I've recently begun interacting more with writers as well. I belong to the Southwest Writer's Group and in fact, will be serving on the board in 2013. The writers that I meet through this organization are incredible people, willing to help fledgling writers at any stage of the process. And what a wealth of information they hold! These writers span all age groups and genres. I'm also involved in a smaller writer's group which has grown into a valuable resource for critiques and feedback, but more importantly, real friendship. The value of that is immeasurable!
I really want I&A to be a resource for creatives of all types, but thus far I have focused strongly on the artistic side. I've been trying to avoid taking on too much too fast, thus ensuring failure, but I think I'm ready. I will focus on the writing aspect of I&A more strongly in 2013.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention The Don at this point. He encourages me and believes in me unfailingly, every single day. I feel very lucky to have a life full of energizing and positive people and my plan for the holiday as well as for the coming year is to focus on these positive things and bring them to the forefront in my life. I'd also like to work a little harder at being a force for good. I'm going to do my small part to tip the balance in hopes that good wins out.
The art in this post was created by Jennifer Davis. You can click any image to go to her website, or click to visit her blog. She's one of today's Featured Artists at I&A and is adding to the good in the world by her willingness to share her lovely and whimsical art with the world.