Saturday, December 22, 2012

Optimism and stupidity and bravery and love

photo by

If you can't have children, or don't want to... or if you have children and find that you still have arms that can hold, if you're anyone, the least you can do is to dedicate your life in service to children.

My friend showed me this.  It's an article about the science behind optimism, about moving forward from here.  It says that optimists are usually wrong, things don't usually get better.  It also says that things will never get better without optimism.

Being optimistic, even though it might be stupid and you might become disappointed in the end, believing that things can be different, can be better, is the only way to change today.  It is the only way to have even a tiny chance of things turning out differently tomorrow.

A tiny chance, and a lot of belief and love and creation.  A tiny chance that you might be brilliant, that the world might be a good place, that life might be worth it.  That's all you have.  Just the tiniest speck of of a chance curled into your palm and you're so scared and it's okay.

Saying that you don't like children is the same thing as announcing that you are afraid.

Children are the only people who believe that things will be beautiful, and so, for them, (unless we take it away from them by hurting them or modeling something different or squashing it out of them), everything is beautiful.

Another amazing friend showed me Love Front Porch.  It is the embodiment of optimism, and of serving the holiness of children.

Be who you are, please.  Be an artist, be lonely, be inappropriate.  Say fuck.  Get laid.  Go for your liver biopsy, finger the scars on your arms.  Wear eyeliner and curl your upper lip.  Don't be a school teacher, if you don't want to.  Don't make a bunch of puppets and a world for the puppets and crouch behind a paper mache, purple and blue castle.  Don't watch cartoons, if you don't want to.  Don't be wholesome.  Be who you are, and dedicate your every talent, your unique creativity, your love and your life to children.

You are a grown up.  You don't believe in love, anymore.  You are afraid of the world.  You can't create optimism.  You've gone too far and seen too much. 

Children believe in the future, because they don't know that, chances are, things will be sad and hard and awful.  They don't know that believing in something usually doesn't pan out, in the end.  They believe in things.  It is the essence of who they are, as people.  Children believe in the things we can't.


Be as dirty as you are and keep a belief in the tiny chance that things will be okay, alive.

Be who you are; be a loser and a thief and a failure, and keep a belief in the so very tiny and probably wrong and it won't happen anyway, it's so stupid to even acknowledge it because only a child would believe that things could change, that things could be better... chance that life is beautiful, alive.

Don't be a mom, I don't care.  Don't teach preschool.  Be as horrible as you are.  Be an asshole.  And dedicate your life to keeping the only chance alive, any way that you can.

Love Front Porch from Love Front Porch on Vimeo.

I love this so much.  Vanessa German is an artist from Homewood, which is a violent neighborhood in my city.  She didn't put on a cardigan sweater and sit in a tiny chair to read a picture book.  She made art with her guts, and she kept her heart and her life open.  Look at what is happening, because she is who she is, and because she is not afraid to live with love.

Show me more of things like this.  Show me more of people living with open lives and hearts, people who show us that love and art will save the world; not because they heard it at a curriculum meeting, but because they are living it, they are letting it happen organically.  They are living Art Will Save The World.  I want to eat nothing but this.  I want to say, "Stop Shooting, We Love You."  I want to be stupid and open and unafraid of getting let down.  I want to believe that the world will be beautiful.  I want to believe that the world is beautiful.  That is why I have children, why I love them with the fury and wideness that I do.  That is why I love them with a heart like a cracked pearl, like an egg spilling out everything I am, all the light and sorrow and love.  They carry the thing inside of them... and it is the only thing that can make the world better.  It's the only thing.

Have a wonderful holiday, please.  Stay warm and make each other happy.  I love you.