The commencement of April has left me in an especially cerebral mood. If you’re native to Miami, you’ll know it was O, Miami's Poetry Festival month. As I’ve told ya’ll in the past, these events (many of which are free) usually get sacrificed for other plans or laziness. But this month, in light of making a more solid commitment to writing, I chose to get out of my comfort zone and bubble of sloth. The universe always rewards us for doing this.
April has been a month full of reminders to keep on creating, sharing and growing. We all have a nagging little dream lurking inside us. That dream doesn’t nag because it’s annoying and we should shut it out, but because we ignore our gifts in favor of life’s responsibilities far too easily. I wholeheartedly understand many of us are in different positions, some of which provide little to no time to pursue anything other than jobs, families, responsibilities. And sometimes we have to go through those moments in order to find the light and return to our natural state, which exudes art.
We are all artists: writers, painters, visionaries, curators, the list goes on. I have never met one person, even the self-proclaimed non-artists, who didn’t have a special creative talent. Every time I attended an O, Miami event, I felt that similar gnaw i’m sure we all have: why don’t I do this more?
You’re so busy. You have things to do. What time can you really sacrifice? You’re not that good at art. Remember that thing your teacher told you in 8th grade? That’s why. Blah ditty blah blah blah.
These are the types of things we have going on in our head on a consistent basis. If any of you even chuckled or smiled as you read that, you can see how ridiculous these excuses sound.
April has taught me to muzzle that voice and remember life is art in and of itself. As this month ends, and unfortunately so does O, Miami's Poetry Festival, I’m left with the lessons I’ve learned from being an artist in April:
- We can be an artist any time we want. We just have to be confident in calling ourselves one and begin creating.
- It’s never too late to begin creating or pick up a long-lost talent.
- Poetry, puppets and tacos are awesome no matter who you are.
- Taking long walks and observing your surroundings create the best opportunities for stories to happen.
- Blankets and coolers go really well with poetry readings.
- Writing notes as you go about your day gives us the opportunity to analyze ourselves as an art subject. This separation, or artist detachment, is not only helpful in using our own human experience as material, but awesome for practical life reasons as it allows us to take things less seriously.
- Other people are as weird as you.
- When the phone rings, pick it up. Follow the signs. If you’re reading this and you know you’ve got a lurking artist within you, this is your phone call. Pick it up.
And now, some photos of what an artsy outdoor poetry event in Miami looks like...