a little sweet essay on the purpose of all art…
“It is a deep secret
how the potter
takes up dust
and creates life…
how he makes the branches,
leaves and yes, even flowers..
how he creates the peacock’s hues,
the iridescence of fish, and all
the shapes of life, his hands must be magical
and his medium (dust), divine…”
— The Divine Medium, by Manan sheel (2018)
The creation of a poet, painter, singer, dancer, writer, musician is a mystery beyond comprehension. And the mystery deepens for one who understands art. How can a person, a human being like any other, is able to create something that is more than the person himself! In other words, how dust, the dead medium is given life! What is the value of the crayons put inside there packets, freshly bought from the market? It is a dead medium. Yet, when an artist takes them into her hands, O how she infuses life into the crayons! How the magic plays on the dead white sheet! When I was very little, I used to have a thought. I understood then that the artist creates something while sketching or painting, or that a singer sings the song, but when I used to see a piano and the musician playing it, I thought that piano is a thing, the person is playing it, but she is not providing herself into this art explicitly. Where is the element that is art? The notes sounded beautiful. But I used to search from where this beauty is arising. What combination of things is responsible for this beauty! Only later I knew that the art is inside — it can be a thought, it can be a scientific discovery, it can be a way of looking…you might never come to know and things are getting created…
I have heard that a honeybee in all her life visits more than a thousand flowers and is able to create about a teaspoon of honey. Taste some honey! Yes, one teaspoon contains the sweet nectar of thousands of flowers. Each of those flowers drank sunlight, swayed in the winds, got enriching water from the soil, and made its nectar, which thus has all the components of life, it also carries the hard-work of the honeybee, and all her hopes, and all the delights of the fulfillment of her promise in creating the honey, it contains her life too. It is her art. May your art be a delight to the tasters, may it not be a trip of ego…May your art contain life…May it be more for others, not for you…May it be like the sun’s warm rays, like the fragrance of flowers, like the song of birds, for you must remember what Jesus said about the lilies of the field…
© Manan sheel.