Caring Too Much Is Such a Juvenile Fancy

Caring too much ……. a lyric from “Falling in Love with Love” from Rodgers and Hart’s The Boys From Syracuse — it is a lovely song.

I always wondered, how can you care too much? I’m Italian. I yell because I care. I don’t understand passivity.

I know, being tranquil is good. Staying calm is good. Not making waves is good.

But have you ever known anyone that got anything changed by hiding and being peaceful? When and where in this world did being passive ever make things different?

If a chick has to break open its eggshell to be born, using what little strength it has to peck it’s way through the shell, it needs to be really motivated, not passive. If a flower wants to burst forth from the spring ground to bloom, it has to really want to push through the soil towards the sun. If a baby wants to be fed or changed, it can’t just lie there smiling and cooing all the time, now, can it?

All of life is changing, every moment of every day. Change is movement and movement is change. We resist this. We want things to stay the same, to stay familiar, to not be different. Foolish, we know, but we want it anyway. We don’t like upheaval. We don’t like things that shake us up.

So, we try not to make waves. We try not to be too disruptive. We try not to do anything that will get us noticed. In the end, we do what is the least we can do and live as quietly as we can.

But an artist cannot be this way. An artist is a creator. Creation is not about passivity, or quietude, or just hanging around waiting to see what happens. Artistic creativity demands that we make and to do that we must have a desire, a need, a reason to take what was one way and make it into something else that’s another way. We must be compelled to pull something out of the air. We must want to see or hear something different just because we want to see what happens when we do.

The joy and satisfaction of dismantling something and building a different something is significant. The stimulation of digging in and re-ordering something into a new and more dynamic form is exhilarating. Artistry is not for the shy. Being an artist is about being bold, trusting yourself, riding on your own currents of inspiration and vision. Talent is fueled by creative artistry, by exploring what is personal, what is meaningful to us in a unique manner, and melding it with skill to forge an artistic product.

For those who are not familiar with this process, I have great compassion and sympathy. Not to know this is just sad. For those who have access to it and do not use it, I also feel sad, but it borders on pity. Such a waste! For those who live with it on a daily basis, I have encouragement. Be brave, wayfarers, as you sail your artistic winds! You never know what you will find as you make your journey.

If you are an artist, how can you care “too much” for your art, your work, your vision? How can you not be fully passionate and dynamic about that which drives you to rise in the morning with joy and enthusiasm? How can you not be filled with gratitude for this impulse, this force which surges within? No, “caring too much” is not a juvenile fancy. It is what we who care expect and even seek. I care, so I yell. I yell because I care. I care because I can’t not care. Isn’t that true of all artists? Isn’t that true of all humans?

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