Look Up

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What we can Learn from Artists (in 2 minutes) to Bless 2017
by Linda von Rosenvinge

What do most of us do now when confronted with even the slightest delay or waiting period? On the train platform, at the doctor’s office, on a long holiday checkout line, while the coffee brews, in the elevator, even in bed awaiting a lover or courting sleep. Come on, yes, you too. 

We look DOWN at our smartphone or other digital device. 

How can we not? A boss, a partner, a child, a spouse, a prospect or a nemesis might be looking for us or threatening us. 

Some of this is hard-wired behavior. Mothers, particularly are programmed to stay connected to and protect their children—we’ve just given them better technology to do this.

Some of this is our primal human need to be socially connected. After our physical needs, belonging is our deepest need, and the one that catapulted us into the modern age. Our evolution accelerated when our social connections matured to the point at which we could collaborate at scale. Now, we manage our social identity and tribal connections digitally.  

Some of this is today’s corporate world, where the real or perceived expectation is that we’re always available, and where we imagine the competition never rests. Our modern age weapons are digitized ideas, words and currency.

So now you’re relieved. These explanations render your LOOKING DOWN behavior completely understandable, forgivable, common and maybe even necessary. 

But we’re drained by it. It consumes the energy we might otherwise use to engage in eye-to-eye conversation, to enjoy the physical world and life’s tableau around us. In an insidious way it throws us back to a time before man had enough cognitive ability and artistic impulse to etch a horse on a cave wall. 

As digital lemmings, we betray our unique gifts.

As yogis and spiritual beings, we can lose our balance if we look down.

Enter the artist with the wisdom to save us! When faced with an “empty” moment, artists don’t look DOWN. 

They luxuriate in observation. 

They allow themselves to respond fully to what they see. They may ponder how other artists might interpret the same visual feast. They might imagine the narrative behind the interactions, �man-scapes and landscapes they see. Their day is enriched, their mind gently and differently stimulated, and often, their creativity sparked. When they next look down, they’re rejuvenated.

So we always have a choice. In fact, we have several choices. 

We have a choice not to LOOK DOWN AT ALL in a found moment.
We have a choice NOT TO ENGAGE if we can quickly ascertain there are no emergencies .
We have a choice to honestly categorize much of what we find when we look down as NON-EMERGENCIES.
We have a choice to craft different covenants and establish DIFFERENT EXPECTATIONS with those close to us. In my painting, Marta is looking anywhere but down. This artist invites you to make the choice to LOOK DOWN LESS AND LOOK AROUND MORE in 2017. Happy New Year

Marta GranatComment