Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Life More Bearable

"The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or how badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."
--Kurt Vonnegut

It's important for me to be given the freedom to create something badly. I'm oh so good at that. Thank you, Mr. Vonnegut.

Simon Rodia is the Italian immigrant who created Watts Towers, which I strongly encourage you to go visit in South Central Los Angeles.

I found the Vonnegut quote at The Jimson Weed Gazette. This man has a way of making Los Angeles, a city I typically think is pretty ugly, look beautiful. He often highlights the overlooked faces found wandering the streets and takes the time to tell their stories. This inspires me too.

Maybe making life more bearable is what these stencils are all about. This one I found in Jackson, Mississippi, in the parking lot of Basil's Cafe, which is in the old post office where Eudora Welty mailed her manuscripts and then went shopping next door at the Jitney Jungle.
Or I don't know, maybe they're gang symbols and I'm being had.


Stacie said...

I love Vonnegut - I actually cried when he died (although I'm sure he would laugh at that). Thanks for sharing the quote!

Lori said...

I did too and he probably did laugh.

Anonymous said...

I too am a Vonnegut fan,reading his books helped get me through my angst filled teenage years. It is very freeing to allow ourselves to do something badly just for the joy of it, something I am learning slowly but glad to be learning at all.I know you will pass that gift onto your child to be and they will flourish for it.

mama becca said...

Probably gang symbols.
No, really, I'm the most uneducated person alive concerning art. Thanks for educating me a bit!
Also thanks for stopping by our blog... haven't had a chance to make the stew yet (this makes me so, so sad... I need a babysitter sometimes just to go to the grocery store, so maybe this weekend?). But it will be soon, and we'll give thanks for you!
have a wonderful evening...

Scott and Emily Lydick said...

Hi we are the Lydick family and are adopting a little girl from Ethiopia. We live in Dallas but my parents live in Portland. We absolutely love it up there! We were put on the waiting list the end of September and can't hear soon enough. Just wanted to say hi! -Emily

-K- said...

Thanks for the nice words about my photos.