The word humility, like the human, comes from humus, or earth.
We are most human when we do no great things. We are not so important; we are simple dust and spirit—at best, loving midwives, participants in a process much larger than we.
If we are quiet and listen and feel how things move, perhaps we will be wise enough to put our hands on what waits to be born, and bless it with kindness and care.
- Wayne Muller.
I find this deeply moving and important, I personally agree with every word. Equally I find my process with this blog and artwork in juxtaposition in moments of confusion around purpose. It needn’t be but there are a couple of factors at play.
I am not seeking fame, status nor notoriety. Personally I want to do away with social media all together as I find it so unethical and manipulative. Being sold as the commodity. I quietly, as mentioned in a previous blog, have removed all personal accounts. However, the point of the artwork that I create and my ‘platform’ is to explore what it means to be human and although I can do that alone it would be deeply subjective and not from a wider perspective. It’s not just one story is it. Yes I can learn a lot looking at myself, personal habits, reactions and behaviour. Learning first compassion for self then others, of course. We learn most about ourselves and our own humanity through interaction and connection with others.
I find this the best way within my limitations to help others, living by example and creating an inclusive environment where we are all one in the same at the core. The motivation for sharing this process is to help reduce stigma, explore the honesty of being human and making sense of our lives in our different ways. Offering a space for you to speak out and reflect around your own life experiences, but in the most non invasive way I can think of. Asking questions that you may or may not be exploring yourselves and if not that you may find you wish to explore.
This is not to say that inner reflection and learning isn’t equally important better or worse but by examining ourselves in the mirror of the other we learn most quickly. However, respectfully, we each walk our own path.
I do however feel the push to use social media to reach all of you, to invite and include all of you to achieve those aims and so often it grates on me based on company purpose, ethics and morality.
I have had enough of Facebook (including Instagram and WhatsApp) and almost deleted my accounts entirely (I certainly did WhatstApp) but when I realised the volume of people following my art pages I considered this may actually be a selfish act, it surprised me. Again I wish to repeat I’m not seeking likes and followers but somehow it appears that what I am doing with the artwork and just being myself matters to you. It has been a truly tough call. I find myself at odds morally, preferring to just disappear into obscurity but I’ve had to sit with that to explore the pros and cons, the hurts and the benefits. Should I delete there would be no exhibitions that you have participated in, no shared space for some of your voices and one less thing to help you through such challenging times even if it is just creating a distraction for a moment of joy/ purpose/ feeling heard as opposed to the suffering around us.
I have had to sit and contemplate deep and hard. So for the moment I have chosen three platforms and as much as I disagree with the company ethics, particularly of two (TikTok and Facebook), it is a temporary solution until I can find a more ethical way or I choose a different path. For now I can see it is benefiting others.
Then there is this new world of international artist recognition, beyond social media initially via the Virtual Arts Association …for which I am truly grateful. When I explored my heart response to this I found that it is still very much in keeping with helping to connect people and sticking with my personal moral compass (which for me is fundamentally important but please note I have no judgement about anyone else’s, this is very much a personal journey for each of us). I realised that it widens the audience to you and all who to date have participated in the exhibitions I have offered. Getting your voices out into the world to help others (where open) to recognise our shared humanity and de-stigmatising so much unhelpful and untrue chat that we tell ourselves. Inviting without invasiveness a few more to reflect a little deeper about what makes us ‘us’. So I began to feel more at ease and realised it’s about motivation. We arrive at our destinations in life according to our true motivations and our subsequent actions. With a little look we can know or learn what those are. Again no judgement about anyone’s motivation, diversity is what creates our experience and it is how we grow and learn as people.
I can see the point in opening such platforms to share the words and experience of others as well as sharing my own human journey to let others know it is ok to just be yourself and be open to curiously about that, that is the best I can do. Beneath the ‘following’ on social media and the opening offered by a small recognition in the art world is the ethos captured very much in this wonderful poem. I am both Stacie Amelia the artist who builds a platform to share exploration and experience and at the same time nobody in particular. Nurturing where needed (but wisely) as well as quietly listening to the rhythm of this experience.
I recognise I have to work on widening this audience in order to share on behalf of those who participated each year and to let others hear the experiences and know they are not alone.
I’m grateful for this poem arriving in my awareness today as it has enabled me to begin offering clarity within myself and beginning outwardly with regard to the purpose of this blog and the sharing and inviting participation of the artwork whilst knowing in my heart and sharing the reason why. Sometimes things take time to brew I suppose.
I have been working a little on engagement where I hadn’t been previously (you know using stories and videos) and knowing now for me, for my reasons… it is ok. If it helps one person feel less self berating and derogatory in their mind and heart for being themselves and it opens up at least one door way for them somehow then I have achieved the intention.
I wonder if others wrestle with this?
I appear to be doing by just being. The dichotomy!