Happenstance Art – A lesson in mindfulness

I love Happenstance Art. It sneaks up on me and throws fairy dust in my eyes. It challenges me to stop what I’m doing and pay attention. It reminds me to be mindful.

I think that most of the time, art is placed as something separate from our day to day lives. We tend to think of art as something we must to seek out rather than something that is present all around us and inside us every minute of every day. We need to look at images, paintings, sculpture, etc. that were created by artists specifically for being studied and appreciated. We go to museums. We look art books. We treat art as something magnificent and yet purposeful. And often, those of us who don’t feel we are creative, believe art is to be created by those other than ourselves. Here’s the message from me to you: We are all creative. We are all artists. And we have an incredible opportunity to share what we see and sense.

Art is there every second. The curve of the line of a guitar’s body can take your breath away. The way a car changes lanes with skill and finesse so that it melds its motion with and against all the other cars on the road has a certain artistic beauty. The pillars of light that filter sun rays and grace us with heavenly visions have an artistic sense. These all appear in our lives and can give us that momentary sense of the sublime.

And sometimes, art goes a step further. In an otherwise innocuous moment, it presents itself like a dare. “See me! Acknowledge me! Bathe your senses in me.”

This morning that happened to me. Art smacked me awake when I was changing my guitar strings for a video shoot I have this evening. I slipped the G-string out of its packaging, and it made this:

I love the shape and the lines. I also love how my fingers holding the string winder make it all look somehow like a stylized imagine of a tropical bird. This morning the simple act of changing guitar strings transformed into a profound meditation on the state and nature of art.

I had to stop and appreciate it, because to do otherwise would be to ignore art’s insistence that it be acknowledged. What a wonderful lesson first thing in the morning. “Remember, art comes at you. Your job is to meet it and play in its world.”


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