In my quest to understand why I continue to resist the calling to create original works of art in service to others, I discovered Steven Pressfield‘s books the War of Art and The Artists’s Journey: The Wake of the Hero’s Journey and the Lifelong Pursuit of Meaning. Discovering Steven’s work was initiated by a series of dreams I have been having since abandoning my art practice over twenty years ago to pursue a passionless career in “the real world”. In these dreams, the Muse arrives as a renown artists offering words of advice, or expresses disappointment in my lack of confidence and courage to trust what I have always known to be true: I am an artist. But what is it that the universe is trying to express through me that has yet to be realized? Who am I meant to serve?
In this dream, I’m in a bar that used to be named Gallagher’s in Waitsfield Vermont. (At the time that this dream occurred, I had just stopped playing live music with three other local musicians due to “creative differences”.) I’m tuning my guitar near the back of the stage when the neck of my guitar starts bending backwards. I’m in a panic trying to correct the problem before the bending breaks all of the strings when I see Tom Petty and Jerry Garcia on the other side of the stage. It’s then that I realize that I’m the opening solo act for the musical legends which intensified my anxiety. “Hey, girl,” Tom said, “Don’t let us old guys intimidate you.”
I’m waiting on a train station platform in what feels like France for northbound train. I’m craving a cup of coffee but am thinking about tea. A woman wearing a watch cap beanie and oversized pea coat sits next me. I shift myself a few inches to the left to put more space between us when I realize the woman is Patty Smith. “You’re Patty Smith!” I said. “I very much enjoyed reading your book M Train, and I’m sorry about you losing your camera.” She quietly thanked me and then said “What I’d like to know is why you stopped writing poetry for your guitar.”
I’m walking with my guitar strapped to my back through a maze of tour buses, pop-up tents, and vendors. I am disoriented as to which direction to go to get back to my campsite, beginning to worry about the safety of my unattended art supplies that I’ve left in my tent. As I round the corner of a tour bus, I see Flea from the band Red Hot Chili Peppers sitting on the ground, disheveled and dusty from a wrestling match he had just had with Anthony Kiedis. Flea was trying to roll himself a cigarette but is using twigs and grass instead of tobacco for the filling. “Is there anything I can do to help you?” I asked. He replied “Don’t you have a painting to finish?”
Be well, stay healthy. And thank you for your continued support of independent artists!
© 2021, Theresa Mae Funk. All rights reserved.