“I don’t want to make something that will kill me, kill the actor, kill the public,” he continues. “I don’t want you to forget yourself for two hours seeing a picture. I want you to remember yourself seeing the picture, but not remember your problems. I want you to remember your life and the beautiful human beings you are. That is what I am trying to do.” ~Alejandro Jodorowsky
Jodorowsky doesn’t make airy-fairy, feel good art. He’s gritty and weird and his following is more cult than pop culture. But the man understands the purpose of art, even if most of us don’t totally get his version of it.
I watched a made-for-tv movie on Netflix while running yesterday, and I finished it in bed last night. It was of the sentimental variety, the kind of fluff I usually avoid because it adds no nutritional value whatsoever to my soul diet. But, after a rough couple of weeks I’d like to forget, I clicked play. It left me feeling empty–hungrier still for the two hours of my life I’ll never get back. I’m as guilty as the next person of using movies or books, or any kind of cheap art, to close off the whirlwind of busyness swirling around in my everyday life. In light of Jodorwosky’s words, yesterday felt like a new low.
I want to surrender my time to the kind of art that matters, the art that helps me remember life itself is one big blank canvas. I don’t need an escape, I need a path that leads me deeper into the mystery and pain and beauty that is my life today. We need something outside of ourselves to help draw us back in, back to the child we used to be, back to our biggest fears and our wildest dreams. Art should not only bring us back, but it should give us strength to stand with our feet firmly planted in today. Through words, canvas visions, bodies in motion, and unrestrained melody, art should give us the courage to call today exactly what it is–it is ours. This day belongs to us and it is gritty and sad and raw. It is lovely and funny and happily weird. Today is good.If we walk the path the artist draws, it takes us further in, helping us see that tomorrow is pregnant with potential too.
Let’s stop using our soul time to numb, cover up, or forget. Let’s spend ourselves on the art that helps us remember.
What art have you seen, read, or heard recently that brought you face to face with yourself? What did it help you remember?