How does exploration in the arts light me up?
There seems to be enough trivial, contentious, or just plain depressing conversation floating around our world. But I believe that what we talk about, see, and read becomes a part of us. It has the power to diminish or enrich our lives. That's why I enjoy engaging in thoughtful conversations. The arts are often a doorway into such converstations.
The arts have filled my mind and soul. They have influenced my poetry and fiction, the way I design and decorate my home, and the ways I frequently go in search of new forms of imaginative expression. They have also comforted me through challenges and losses and deepened my self-knowledge. Perhaps most of all, they have provoked my curiosity, which has left me inspired by life's diverse adventures and awe-filled moments. Essentially, the arts have helped me search for answers and meaning in my life.
What are Art & Soul Travels?
My parents took me to my first play (My Fair Lady) when I was three years old; I still have clear memories of the scenes, music, costumes. My mom and I saw a Van Gogh exhibit when I was four; his "Bedroom in Arles" left a vivid after-image still present in my mind. These were some seeds of my life-long passion to seek out and experience the arts. Whether absorbing an art installation in Santa Fe, viewing a Chicago (where I grew up & frequently return) photography exhibit and mural strolling, or just catching a new foreign film, these types of Art & Soul Travels always inspire me, expand my awareness, and challenge my beliefs and assumptions. I like to approach the arts with an eye toward helping us all better incorporate them into our daily conversation and living, because, well, couldn't we use a little more inspiration in the world and in our everyday lives? If you agree, I hope you'll visit my blog pages.
"So, all of a sudden in Europe 500 years ago, the theater and painting and sculpture all becomes somewhat irrelevant because it's not dealing in the truth the way science deals with the truth. Please!"
Barry Lopez, "A Conversation with Pico Iyer and Barry Lopez" (January 16, 2015, Key West Literary Seminar)
Janet St. John is a poet and fiction writer who has taught creative writing and poetry, founded and edited a literary journal, been awarded writer residencies, and published poems and short fiction in a variety of literary magazines (see Writing).