28 May

Last Thursday, I was asked to be the keynote at UCSD’s Cross Cultural Center’s  “All People’s Celebration”. Honored and scared, I had accepted the offer. What would I write? What do I have to say to folks that could possibly inspire them?  I was prompted according to the theme, “Honoring our Joy” and also asked to discuss what this means in the context of being an artist. Although I contemplate life and synchronisity often, I found it difficult to write/verbalize my understanding of living life in/with joy . As I took to the task with shaking nerves, all I knew was that what I had to say could only come from the heart and be nothing less than honest.

To me, Joy is born into our lives when we live each day in the moment. Joy is the excitement we feel when we allow ourselves to be spontaneous . It is having the courage to let go of fear and let our hearts be free to experience love, pain, melancholy, excitement… Happiness is wonderful, but it is a temporary emotion. JOY IS AN ATTITUDE OF THE HEART and can be found within the emotions we experience daily, including those which we associate with more negative/painful undertones.

As a community artist, I have found joy 1) in actualizing my dream/desire to create  & 2) by sharing my work with the community.

By actualizing the desire within my heart to create, I feel I am no longer denying my trueself. Whereas, in the past, I would be the first to negate my own creatvity, I now am the first to honor this part of me. Words cannot express the fufilment my soul has felt since I let myself be “an artist” by name and practice.

Although  I find the act of creating to be powerful and cathartic, i draw most of my energy from the connection I am able to make with my community when they engage in my pieces and myself. When I create a piece, I create to convey emotions that are inside me at that particular moment. When an outside party tells me they are drawn to one of my pieces it is as though we are connecting on more than just a human level- we are connecting on a soul energetic level.  Since every piece I create reflects a certain energy that my heart has felt/does feel, when others are drawn to the energy I am visually representing I am moved beyond words. My art connects me to friends and even strangers. IT IS IN THESE MOMENTS I FEEL MOST ALIVE.

As my sister-friend and poetess, the late Joy de la Cruz, said in one of her pieces-



i get lost

and find myself….


be-at, the beat

be-at, the beat

be-at, the beat

*Thank you, sister-friend for reminding me that everyday is a gift and that everday I must live within the B-E-A-T of the breath of my heart to truly get to the root of my existence, my being. I miss and love you.*

One Response to “peaceloveJOY.always”

  1. unfoldingwonder May 28, 2009 at 4:30 am #

    beautiful, lo. so sad i couldn’t be there to witness. yaye art. -dianne

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