Things are beginning to fall into perspective although I’m still working on finding the time to pursue all my interests. I’m learning that God isn’t something to be accommodated into a specific time slot or area of my life. He’s in all things and is becoming the main motivation for doing what I love. It certainly gives my day-to-day purpose and I’m grateful for being called to experience this.
Those who love me and know me well are expecting my passion for Catholicism to wane any moment now. They know it has happened before and this time it might not be different. I’m reaching that point when the flaws become noticeable and I become disenchanted. It happened while studying classical music at the university. I found myself ducking the punches of a ruthless culture where competition and criticism leave little room for self-realization and artistic growth. It happened after I recorded my own album and tried to launch my band into the market. Little did I know at the time that the music industry was and still is a tightly clenched fist unwilling to move an inch for a talented newcomer. It happened at my present teaching job, the most noble of all professions had been reduced to a number, a percentage on a chart that can add or subtract value to a school, a county, and a state. It happened with writing as well, once I familiarized myself with the publishers’ long list of expectations. It was disheartening to learn how easily an editor or agent can pass on a good writer (and I’m not including myself in that category) simply because there are thousands of others who willingly comply with their demands. Better go with a trend than take a risk, right? But why? Aren’t we all unique in our way of experiencing the world around us? Aren’t we all capable of contributing something new to our art?
When I set my eyes on an artistic goal I give it my best. I let the current pull me down and after a few miles I come up for air and analyze my trajectory from a bird’s eye view. It has become clear that the purity of intention I seek won’t be found anywhere (not in concertizing, not in writing fiction, and certainly not in teaching) except in my own heart. I’m learning that it’s up to me to give my art as well as my everyday life the intention I seek to find elsewhere. Easier said than done, especially when all that is meant to be good and pure is being manipulated by a society that operates on the principles of greed and power.
Human nature tells me this has always been the case, and yet, there are individuals who make a difference thanks to the selflessness of their actions. That’s what I want for myself. It might be too high a goal but anything less won’t do. The world might not remember who we are once we’re gone, but our actions in this lifetime set a ripple effect that will carry on for generations to come. That’s our best legacy. Our selfless works of faith. Our random acts of kindness. It’s time to dip our cupped hands in the bottomless well of hope that is our universe. Let’s make it rain on those who can’t see the richness we’ve been gifted.