I was stung by a bee while watering my garden recently. I only felt a small prick on my leg and reflexively swatted at what I thought was a mosquito. I didn’t even know it was a bee until the poison began to work its way into my calf moments later. It caused me to recall a conversation I had with someone the prior evening about how deathly allergic to bees he was. One little sting would guarantee to kill him if his EpiPen wasn’t nearby.
It is scary to think how tenuous our existence can be in this world. Some might consider it a depressing or paralyzing concept, but I personally find it creatively liberating.
You have no time and no excuse to mire yourself in creative work which you don’t feel enhances you as an artist. You have every reason to strive to make things without reservation and be as true to your art form as you possibly can be. Some day, in some way, the ability to create will be taken from you. Use the time you have wisely.
Sure, most of us have jobs or obligations that require a large chunk of our day-to-day lives, and that’s a regrettable concession. But your art time is some of the most valuable things you have. Invest it in ways that are creatively satisfying!
The inevitability of death is often such a dour topic to discuss, but I think it is worth thinking about from time to time. There have been studies done that show a reminder of one’s mortality can help improve day to day life. Having the end of existence loom over your shoulder can help anyone think more clearly and purposefully.
When thinking about death, don’t get sad or scared, get motivated! There is far too much left to do in this world before you pass on to whatever awaits afterward.
I’ve heard of many people keeping tokens of mortality in their workspace to help keep them focused. It’s a little reminder that we all have a deadline for our projects that we need to keep.
Beyond the macabre aspects of death, there is such a wide swath of inspiration buried into a simple concept. Contemplating death is interesting in almost any creative sense. It can conjure ideas of mystery, the unknown, and nothingness. Or it can bring up ideas of holiness, eternity, and the afterlife.
I would suggest sitting down and really thinking about death for a while. In my experience, I always end up thinking about all the things I still want to do while I’m still alive. Get to it!