Hi beautiful one,
In this edition of The Letter I want to talk about a curious topic, which is the artist as healer. It's a topic that has occupied the hearts and minds of my creative cluster for the past week, and the thoughts, ideas, and feelings that it's inspired are worth sharing.
The notion of artist as healer is one that first came to my attention a few years ago. I was at a public event held by St Paul's Creative Centre (of which I was then a member). It was a film writer (whose name now escapes me), who told me I was a dead ringer for Bryce Howard. She spoke briefly about her concerns regarding gratuitous violence, and encouraged us to consider using art to heal rather than sow division, anxiety, and violent tendencies.
Some of the questions that have come up in the cluster about artists as healers include:
- am I a healer, or am I merely a channel?
- who does the healing?
- can I use art intentionally to heal?
- if I am a healer, and an artist, and a consultant, and I forge a coherent brand, what do I call myself?
- is commercial art still art?
- is art by artificial intelligence still 'art'?
- how do we stay open as channels, open to our artistry?
... and much more besides.
As someone who reads tarot, who writes poetry and other things, who mentors and coaches, and who also performs reiki, my perspective is that the entirety of this work is about being a channel.
In most respects, you are not the doer.
The doer is the controller. How much of your own life do you actually control? Riiiight, not much.
Therefore, even if you create intentions for your art to heal, you're not a healer. You're merely channelling something for someone else to tap into, which then allows their body or their mind to heal itself.
Reiki practitioners are not healers. They're energy channels; the client uses that energy in whatever way they need to. Tarot readers are not healers; they read a language that enables someone to get the information they need to hear. Artists are not doers, even if there seems to be a lot of 'doing'!. Artists are gateways that enable the art that wants to be created to come into existence.
Deep thoughts. Yours are welcome.
In news from this end, Artist in Recovery is deep in production. I don't yet have a release date for that, but it'll be soon. I would say, 'it's coming!' but all I hear is my mum retort, 'so is Christmas!'.
You'll hear about it as soon as I know when the book is available to order.
In the meantime, I have completed a 160-haiku collection exploring the nature of magick.
And I have just started a new work that is as yet untitled. Where the haiku was crafted, this new work is emerging through the gateway. It ponders the question, 'What happens if I just go where the wind takes me?'
So far I've landed on an unknown island, where the sand breathes the way that I do.
But more on that next time. :)