Lessons from 2013 #2: Making art: the life you save could be your own

Making art: the life you save could be your own 

When the Heels on Wheels crew was deeply shaken up from seeing our friend’s physical reality permanently changed and narrowly missing it ourselves, we took a 2-day break and came to consensus that we wanted to resume touring our art show, our pieces serendeptitiously being about resilience and healing [though, fuck Olympia 4ever]. We decided this because we wanted to follow this path to our own processing and healing. We realized that people were affected by this specific harm, and hard things in general, in a ripple-effect way, and that we were already set up to follow those ripples and reinforce that whatever folks were feeling — and whatever we were feeling — was ok. And beyond ok, by coming together in the celebration of persistence that seeing live art is, we co-created healing and resilient spaces, which we needed as much as our audiences did.

Text from Heather Acs's piece, "This is all that we have."
Text from Heather Acs’s piece, “This is all that we have.”

Later this year, after I couldn’t perform my art piece about overcoming trauma using exorcize because I was just too sad about being retraumatized, I turned to other art forms. I would not have written a feminist dystopic sci-fi novel with a sexworker heroine, or made my most recent video, if I hadn’t been so completely at ends.

Also, if you’re not up for making stuff or if it takes you longer than you want it to? That’s ok. Making a recent 5-minute video/photo project took eight months mostly because I was too out of it to organize nine people quickly, which is atypical for myself as a community organizer. Be loving to yourself by accepting your capacity and ability where it is at, and let that help you see everyone in their own place of ability as perfectly where they should be, too.

I invite you to make something beautiful out of your pain, *because* there is so much pain. Hold each other with your creative powers, whatever those powers are. Make something in defiance or acceptance of pain. Because you need something beautiful or someone else needs it. Because you love the people you are making it with. Because making things together is transformational.

Art can save your life or someone else’s life. “The life you save could be your own” doesn’t just apply to impaired driving warnings [although please don’t drive when you’re fucked up, ok?]


Lessons from 2013 is a mini-series dedicated to all the ways folks make it through in general, and to my personal resilience gathered from a bad year. See the series here:  http://www.damienluxe.com/category/top-10-lists/