Guest Contributor: Conor Broderick
Pathways – a familiar analogy about the choices and circumstances that shape our lives. We try to follow or create new lines through our known world. Pathways can be mutually exclusive, but they are also intertwined within our shared existence. And in this world, our paths will cross. It doesn’t matter if you have made yourself a million dollar lifestyle with mansions, surrounded by technology, or if you live in a humble home of adobe walls and a thatched roof. The choices we make not only change the way we live our lives but also affect how others carry on as well.
There are those who want to make the world a better place. Some want to leave behind a legacy, something helpful for future generations, more beautiful than ever, a legacy that matters. I’ve learned that parts of this goal seem almost constantly out of our grasp. To better ourselves we might need to find a sanctuary. We need these places to escape to in order to make meaningful changes. When I paint, I create this safe place where I am free to imagine, to dream, to communicate, to think beyond myself. Without the necessary breaks from reality or the day-to-day, I wonder if we can achieve the state of mind necessary to make positive impacts in life. Without these sanctuaries we may feed into a cycle of wasted efforts and time.
I have been forced to make those changes. I had to adapt in order to make my life more meaningful. Art was the way (the path) for me, using the creative outlets. But is this the case for anyone?
That’s where the responsibility of finding a quiet, safe corner in our world comes in. Sometimes inspiring and thought provoking art comes from lost tortured souls. Are those with such gifts attempting to create beauty to somehow make the world a little better, or are they attempting to mitigate their own injuries with masterful works of art? On one level this is a terrifying concept to think that maybe we cannot create beauty without some level of looming threat foreshadowed.
As an artist I feel that the ability to create something beautiful has saved me. I allowed myself to escape from a world teeming with anxiety, stress, and responsibility at times. Art is a pathway to expressions of thought and emotions that permit me to feel hope in times of grey. I created my own space to walk along a tree covered path backlit by the sun, on a cold autumn morning…
So as we walk our unique paths in this intertwined world perhaps we can all find something or some place that allows our minds to flourish. If it doesn’t exist, then we create it. We inspire ourselves to become a little better and add to the world’s beauty.
Conor Broderick is an artist in JAC’s network whose colorful and imaginative portfolio consists of both visual and written works. You can view his portfolio here or visit his website to see more of his art. He has works available for purchase.