Tonight the moon swept me off my feet. I thought about my love for the moon and stars and my preoccupation with incorporating both into my art. It got me thinking more about what my art/words/relationships/daily life says.
There is a photographer whose work I really liked until about four months ago. Four months ago was when she started compulsively posting photographs of her and her boyfriend. Don't misunderstand: they are beautiful, envy-inducing photographs of their very sweet, deep relationship.
(And that is a huge however.)
She used to photograph things: rainy days, grocery stores, homeless people, patterns of light on the floor, old radios, people jumping, little girls laughing in red wagons. She used to say things. Now all I see is the same pose, the same cute expression, the same hands holding the same hands. I don't get it. After all, I'm guessing that he fell in love with her for the same reasons I fell in love with her photography. Those photographs--before Boy took center stage--spoke of simple grace, deep wisdom, love of Christ, hope, joy, whimsy, everyday adventures. As soon as they started photographing themselves holding hands, her photographs stopped talking. Her art stopped saying the things that brought them together in the first place.
I want to say things. I don't just want to throw words and colors and emotions and actions out into the cosmos. I don't want to splatterpaint my feelings and impulses like meaningless abstract art. I want to do more than word vomit. I want to live with intention. And as much as I love holding hands, I don't want a single one of my relationships, platonic or otherwise, to stop saying things either.
I want my art to speak. I want my music to speak. I want the way I interact with strangers to speak. I want to say things worth the words I use to craft them. I want relationships (and, eventually, a marriage) rooted on a mutual passion for the real, the true, the bright, the bold, the meaningful, the brave, the lovely, the Cross. A relationship based on things.
Yes, someday I will likely make art influenced by my inloveness with someone. I'm not belittling that. But inloveness is not something worth dying for, worth living for, or worth photographing for four months straight. Hold hands, sure. But say things too.
And take a look at that moon.