Je Suis Paris

photo“Do you think a society is good, or that people are good? We are only as good as the artists and writers can make us appear.” ~ Anonymous

It’s difficult for me to sit back and say nothing about the events of the past few days in Paris, France. But as the bloodshed continues headlining every news channel and permeating my mind, I cannot help but to voice my thoughts of this insidious sphere. I cannot help but be saddened for the loss of all lives, yet I’m reminded of a simple time in my life, one that seems so long ago, but one that solidified my duty in life long before I was ever aware of it.

I’m reminded of my love for creation.

What is it to be creative? What does it mean to spend hours creating, crafting and working only to step back and breathe life into a work of art or words? What is this feeling of muse, this desire to create? What does it mean?

As I am both an artist and a writer, I must express my opinion and answer these questions as only I can. Though it is different for all, the reasons for why remain true. The centrality of the answer is of one sphere; one common bond shared in the creative spirit.

We are the voices of the world. We paint bare walls of lifeless concrete and brick with color and depth, giving them life, freeing them from the grey; the blankness, the void of feeling.

We make a wall happy, we make a sidewalk bright. We make the books that children hate to read tolerable and interesting. We see color where there is no light. We see shades where only blackness exists. We paint life into lifelessness.

We burn the tongues with flavor and steep the mind with wonder. We give our hearts to the world, only to be creative and we ask nothing in return.

We only exist to speak, brush and brighten.

Speaking of brightness. I remember the age of twelve. This was the time where my world consisted only of artwork and stories; my stories, stories I wrote just because I could. I never shared these stories.

These stories were of people, places and ideas, yet they never saw the light of any eyes beyond my own. They lived only in my room, never traveling beyond my desk drawer. Even more lived only in my mind, never free, never birthing from my heart; never to grace another.

Then there were my drawings. Drawings so simple that I dared show them to anyone; scribbles with pen and pencil, pastel and charcoal. Figures that I saw in my head, things that I imagined. All of these things lived in my room, in my notebook, my sketchbook and folder. These creations never would wake. They would never reveal their power and they would never receive ridicule, criticism, promise or praise.

My world was my creation, my interpretation of the world around me, my assimilation of the things I was told and taught, of what I heard, spoke and thought. These simple expressions of my sensory world would flow back through my eyes, through my hands and then through the pen or the brush to land on a page where they would touch nobody but me, where they were safe.

But this was the age of twelve.

Shortly after this time still living within my own world of lines and letters, portraits and paragraphs, near the age of thirteen, I remember sitting at my cousin’s house. I remember it clearly, as it would be a day that changed my distinction of the world of Art.

We were to spend the summer together. That night I sat up doodling on my sketchpad which was full of every drawing one could think of. Everything from cartoons to stick figures, from comic book characters to my first attempts at abstract art or impressionism. But mostly…. It was full of drawings of Spider-Man.

On the eve before we were to make the 600 mile journey from Oklahoma to the Gulf of Mexico where my grandparents resided, her boyfriend, a man named Charles, came over the night before we would depart.

I remember it clearly:

“What are you drawing over there bud?”

“Nothing.” I mumbled.

“Well, let’s see!”

Before I could really defend my sketchpad from the eyes of someone else it had been taken from me, though gently.

As Charles and my cousin looked through my sketchbook they kept looking back at me with gaping mouths. I could only imagine what they thought. But only words of praise came from their lips.

As the show and tell progressed, Charles asked me what my friends thought about them. I responded by saying that I never had shown anyone. Nobody had ever read my stories and nobody had ever seen my artwork.

He asked why.

I said with an interrogative tone, “Because what if they hate them?”

He looked at me and laughed, then grabbed a newspaper. Pointing to the comic strips, he said,

“Do you think these guys were afraid of being hated, probably, but now everyone gets to appreciate their effort.”

“It’s a risk you’ll have to take one day bud.”

And with that simple statement, my world was invaded. My private world was shattered with the words of logic and reason that was so sound in my young mind that I could not dispute it. The validity of the moment was what I felt, and I can say without any question that in that particular moment, I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted nothing more than to be a writer and artist.

This is why we write, paint, draw, sculpt, dance and sing. Because we can. Because it makes a distinct impression on the world around us. Because it reflects our culture, our lives and our world. We express the form of what we see through a myriad of mediums. This is a part of being human. We bring the human condition to the forefront, telling stories and carving busts that last throughout time, some lasting thousands upon thousands of years.

We etch images and phrase into the stone tablets of history simply because we can. We need no commissions for this, no compensation at all. We gladly create and leave it there for all to know about, wonder about, smile and imagine.

For those who believe that they can silence the artisans of the world in the place of religious or political rhetoric, these people will fail. We are the hands of the world, creating what we perceive as life, exercising our divine right of the freedom of self-expression.

Particularly for those who attempt to punish artists for making religious statements in the name of God, these people are fools. We will drag their images into the annals of history and leave nothing but the stain of their pathetic vengeance and disregard for human life as their legacy.

Should we all cower under the blanket as those with malicious agendas attempt to censor and terrorize our inalienable God given rights? I shall not.

Should we all be twelve years old? Afraid to show the beauty, humor, sadness or glory of our work simply because someone may hate it?

I never will again.

This is the sphere of judgment, and Judgment is not the place or duty or right of ANY man, no matter their religion, ideology or philosophy; and certainly not for those who do so while proclaiming the love and greatness of God.

How dare anyone use God as a scapegoat for the slaughter and violence we’ve seen in the past few days. Whether or not you agree with political or religious satire matters little. These are opinions, and this is the expression of the world in which we live.

Live and love righteously and then perhaps we’ll paint a better picture of life; expressing a life of even more beauty than could possibly be realized.

It saddens my heart, as I feel and know that I’ve lost brothers.

If we are to live among one another, we must love one another; opinions and expressions alike. It is this simple.

Je Suis Charlie




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I am an artist, writer, author, philosopher and lover of nature and life. My blog offers a glimpse into my world, my thoughts, my sphere. Enjoy!

30 thoughts on “Je Suis Paris

  1. This was really beautiful… It breaks my heart to think such atrocity could be enacted against people simply putting their creativity into the world. I agree – this is where we always need to take that deep breath and share what we make. It’s the only way to keep this world full of beauty and colour and wonder.

  2. Thank you for sharing in such a beautiful way …
    Sadly men have used .. God as a scapegoat for slaughter and violence .. for centuries .. there is more bloodshed through history .. caused by the war/fearmongering .. the anger and hatred of men hiding behind religions.. the extremists are present in all .. the few that do damage to the many /the whole.

    I have to wish that the few don’t cause the many to choose hatred and not love .. out of fear … & I have to hope that we all …choose LOVE … all religions have that as their core … So we could / can all chose to respect each other and honour each others differences .. now that would be a beautiful world …

    1. Thank you very much for your kind and humbling words. From one artist to another, it is our responsibility to create beauty and share these gifts with the world. All the best to you! 🙂

  3. Reblogged this on Madge Midgely and commented:
    Here is a compassionate voice sharing the effect of the Paris events on his artistic soul. His message is righteous, and from one artist to another, We were all given senses and sensibilities to embrace our born creative nature. Do not suppress your own gifts. Do not be afraid of your own voice. Do not cower to those who wish to squelch your brilliant participation in this greater creation!

  4. At first, I was touched that something drew you to my blog. I consider subscriptions, readers a gift. Then I was entranced by your unique story about showcasing, or not showcasing your creativity. What you’ve said is understood and yet hearing it expressed by somebody new felt revealing; you putting a pin on what our art and talents mean. The crux of your story alone is a beautiful piece but you tied it in with Paris’ political deaths in a manner that stunned me. Never was a point illustrated more clearly, memorably. Bien fait.

    1. Thank you very kindly for your comments. I am attracted to like minds and words of purity, which you showcase very well on your blog 🙂 Hoping all is well with you!

      1. I’m glad I dared to be honest about 2014 being soured, if it demonstrates words of purity. Again, you put it in ways I wouldn’t imagine. I lost a young cat without known cause, who is like my son. I felt like God should have left me my greatest joys, who live so briefly as it is. But I am not alone in despair and have six others, as I wrote. Thank you: I will be okay!

  5. We have a common response to the horror of the times. They impinge upon us from unexpected corners and bruise our souls. It is the madness we carry in our codons. Today I took some relief in the form of a song by Nana Mouskouri. I hope you enjoy it as well

    1. Thank you for the link and for your comments. Very true, though times seem horrific, they are but a small and dismal glimpse into the vastness of human nature. We have so much more potential and promise than what we witness.

  6. I loved every minute of readings this!!! You write so eloquently of a pain I know all to well, and so beautifully of your passions in life. I’m glad you let your twelve year old self out of that box of fear and now you look at you shine! 😊🌟

  7. Very great post/topic! You described what a “artist” is beyond what they display. You have offered others a peek into the intricacies of the world an artist lives in and experiences. Nothing could fully represent what that world is like, Yet artists do their best to display it through music, paintings, writings, comedy, or any other artistic display.
    The world an artistic and creative mind lives in can be overwhelming when they haven’t yet found a way to express themselves and all the creations, visions, thoughts, feelings, ext
    For me, I was bottled up with all these things with no way to get them out and (Desire to do so that something you understand)
    Finally, I found it was through music that I could express and translate my thoughts out to people.
    (Clearly writing was not for me lol )
    But, It wasn’t until I was in my 20’s for me to discover my outlet

    One of my greatest experiences with this was just this past year, my niece (7yrs old) was listening and I seen the “look” that she was not just hearing but was visually connecting to each sound ect ….
    She is a very shy (like I was)
    Well, she started to play and has been non-stop wanting more and more and loving every moment —– POINT BEING- I’M GLAD THAT I WASS ABLE TO SPOT IT EARLY IN HER LIFE SO SHE CAN EXPRESS HER ART

    1. Thank you for your comments and for sharing a part of your world here. I’m happy that you found your outlet, and that your niece is exploring the art of self-expression at such a young age. My daughter is quite the same, though she takes after me with art mostly. Thank you again and all the best to you!

  8. I felt true love in your creative words. Thank you for sharing who you are. Some of us are just ‘scratching the surface’ as we expose parts of us in our self-expression. Artists like you encourage us to ‘keep at it’!
    Thank you!!!

  9. Reblogged this on The Browncoat Whovian Epiphany and commented:
    On one hand, I’ve been trying to think of something to say about the murders at Charlie Hebdo. On the other hand I’m too gobsmacked to stutter out anything yet. Couldn’t top this any, even if I did. The murders themselves are horrific enough. Hearing the far right opinions afterword is icewater in the veins of anyone recovering from religion. To hear that they derserved it, that they invited it by their opinion, that it was their fault for not “respecting” religion is, essential, a gag in the mouth of all who disagree with religion, whatever that religion may be. What about respecting free speech. What about respecting the secular point of view? It isn’t fair – but in light of lives lost and families devestated, it isn’t a matter of fair anymore. The “great religions” of Christianity, Islam and Judaeism are three branches of the same tree, and the tragedy of Charlie Hebdo shows us how close the far right of those branches can be. May we all be able to speak, draw, and write freely

  10. Thank you for sharing this with us. My mother was born in France, the news has hit very close to home. Lots of love to all and the strength to continue in light of these horrific events. ❤

  11. Thank you for these very well written and heartfelt words. I agree with all you said. I also agree that when some people take something beautiful and wondrous and try to use it for hate or harm, that it is a horrible twisting of life. I am so happy you get to do what you love in life. I also have no clue as to how to stop stuff like these things from happening, but I really wish I did. Hugs

  12. Reblogged this on The Latest Word and commented:
    While I have only seen glimmers of the issues occurring overseas across the flashing TV screens at work and at home, I understand these truths: We as Americans call it an attack on “Freedom of Expression” or Freedom of Speech.

    I hold judgment on what it is, because I have not done my due diligence in researching the current actions of those involved, victimized, killed, or murdered. I abhor all of these things at face value. Rather than rewrite a word that has already been spoken, I share the blog post of Je Suis Charlie.

    Je Suis’ post sums up my sentiment exactly, there is no need for me to add anymore to the subject, except, to say Amen!

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