As the weather changes and we head into warmer times, I realize how much of last summer I missed. I can’t recall much of anything – it’s the darnedest thing. I will have to read my earlier entries for this time period to even comprehend how I was feeling back then. Time – that’s what it does to you, when you look back in time it seems to smooths things out, and where it can’t smooth them out, at least in my case, it has either blurred them or blocked them.
We held the first presentation of Kev’s art award, and it was in October of last year, that I do recall. So I was surprised when I got a notice this week that the particular competition is being held earlier. Awards will be made in July this year, submissions are due by the end of June. How pleased Kevin would be. Art was such a huge part of his life. Often I would hear his thoughts on how important a society’s commitment to the arts is. That in years down the road, our generation will be judged by the cultural markers we leave behind. Paintings, sculpture, music, writing and the like – they preserve the values of our generation long after we are gone. This was Kevin’s passion, keeping the energy and interest in the arts strong; promoting creativity, whatever shape it took. He lived what he preached. Some of his artwork or music may have left people wondering about what actually went on in his brain, but his energy, passion and intellectual interest shone through.
So, it was out of this respect for his fearlessness, his strength in putting himself out there that we created his award. It is a brave thing that any artist does, when they share their work with the world. To allow others to assess, judge, criticize or praise a creation that is personal and intimate. Especially now, when it appears that most of the world doesn’t understand the meaning of respect – for others or themselves. Say/write what you want because you can. This is made even easier through the means we have to offer up our expression. Means that can be impersonal, disconnected, faceless, or detached. I believe that, for the most part, this undermines social responsibility. We have become detached bits and bytes in some colossal tide of technology. Anyone’s opinion can get ink.
So on the upside, there’s more connected-ness throughout the world, more sharing, more awareness and increased presence of all individuals (if they want); a promise of freedom. On the down side a whole new segment of vulnerability has opened up – the protective layers of family and friends are stripped away when one wades into social media. Who knows who’s really who on the internet. Words written are captured forever, pictures too. Information can become both our enemy and our friend. We should teach and encourage responsibility and awareness when using this type of communication. Words are the strongest weapon we have, whatever form they take – spoken or written. Words can incite and words can defuse.
Going back to where I started, which was pondering over what the hell I did last summer, I have images and I have questions in my mind, but ultimately I process them as words. And I have the words that I wrote over the past summer which captured my thoughts for ever. People, time, thoughts, seasons, they are in constant movement – but words, written words, are etched, imprinted, stationary. Use them wisely.