for art and the artists

last tuesday was the funeral and everything about that day was harder and easier than i expected it to be. it was easy loving everybody. it was harder than i thought to say goodbye, to claim responsibility to fill the gap left by his exit from this plane of existence. after two hours of drumming and singing and crying and praying with thunder (a tribal leader who is equally powerful to the applause in the sky) as she swept his spirit to the heavens with eagle feathers, i  stood in the shade and hugged everyone who wanted to be hugged and i waited…i waited..i waited until the moment i could get in my car and blast the song that would take me to that transcendent place where my spirit soars inside greatness and strength returns and i become more than i was before.

if you rode in my car week after week you’d hear the songs i play on repeat for months and months. the past several months the only songs i play in my car are by shakey graves and ganstagrass. this song makes me strong:

you can choose to listen to the song or not…either way i know that you have songs you can call upon to restore your strength. you have albums that shift your mood when you listen. you have books on your shelf that remind you that you are loved, you are not alone, that more is possible. you have poems copied into notebooks that put words to the silence you can’t speak. you have artwork in your home that inspires you. (and if you don’t, buy some or paint some or photograph something beautiful. get artwork on your walls that inspires you.) you have love letters in a box under your bed that you can read when nostalgia curls around you like dense fog. there is art that will take you where you want to go. if you haven’t found art that carries you through the roughest days, seek, search, and discover it. art helps.

a special thanks today to the artists whose art helped me last week: sue’s haikus, spike’s emails that read like chapter books, lee’s watercolors on my walls, silas’ spontaneous narration songs that remind me of the child i was who sang everything that happened to me everyday, leo’s music that moves my body to sweat through pain to joy, grandpa and kiki for holding me while i danced with closed eyes into the space to let go, lance’s photographs and every shared memory of cali in 2001, the poetess with a file in my inbox of new poems not yet published, and shakey who has been playing in my car on repeat for months. thank you.

thank you to you, to everyone who reads this blog and witnesses my process. thank you for growing with me. thank you for your support, directly in your comments and invisibly for the lurkers who read and send love while keeping their thoughts private. thank you for making your art. thank you for risking vulnerability in the ways and with the people you choose to share. thank you for buying art, music, and books to support those who create for a living and those who create to stay alive. thank you. i needed you last week and you showed up for me. thank you. how can i best serve my love to you this week?

p.s. you can love yourself and the world more by making art, appreciating art, buying art. do it. thank you. thank you for the art that you create and for the art that inspires you to be, do, and love more.


About angel joy

love is an action verb. i live love in action.
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