I spend a lot of time worrying about whether I'm doing the right thing with my life and if I'm doing enough to make the world a better place. I feel the need to make an impact, to solve some big global problem. I know I can't but feel like I should at least be trying to contribute my two cents to the cause. This is why guilt and feelings of selfishness tend to wash over me when I start to entertain ideas of trying to do something more creative with my life.* It's only when I read articles like the Washington Post Magazine's piece on locally-based artist Allen Carter that I start remember how art and the creative have been used to shift thinking and spur social change. Carter's (Big Al) work not only reflects an amazing dedication to the art and imagination, Battiata talks of how his art challenges you to face realities you may not want to deal with. The butterflies in my gut in reading this article are for excitement and remembering all the writing, art, photography, theater that has helped in shifting my frame of reference. Even in my current field I see the value in the creative. At a recent conference on rivers I attended, an award was given to Beth Maynor Young for the awareness she's raised with her photography of southeastern rivers. Her photographs have inspired land and river protection throughout the region. Even crafts have gotten activist again** with sites like Craftivism that highlight ways to give back, act out, etc.
Anyway, I ramble on simply to say that I'm excited and hopeful and may just be working my way towards that Master's thesis.
*I feel like that was such a conceited sentence. I'm in no way saying I'm creative enough to ever do anything like that as a career. We're talking a dreaming-only scenario.
**Those old school ladies sewing circles could be pretty revolutionary ; )