Expecting To Fly / by Lorraine García-Nakata

At five years old, during the 1950's, I knew I would be an artist. There was no question about it and probably the only thing in my life that was clear. Singing and drawing were important "company" for me. Like a friend, parent, or guidance counselor, information was handed over to me as I'd dive into that place you go to create and grow the skill. If you are reading this, you probably know about the place, that ambiguous creative territory visited when your mind is both in and out of focus at the same moment. It leaves room for things to slide in that aren't over-thought.  I found out about this place early and was hooked.

In my case, I was in serious love with music and visual art at the same time, which was not advised. Even though skilled in both, as a teen I followed the advice to drop one, in my case music, because I didn't read music.  Decades later, I realized a decision of the brain does not over ride a genuine life's passion. It's that simple. Being young, I didn't know this and while developing my drawing, painting, sculptures, my writing, my life and family, community work, my view of things, the love of music sat there, waiting, and periodically poking me like a thistle perpetually stuck in my sock.

So, I am circling back and doing the hard insecure work of rediscovering who I am in relation to music, as I also continue with writing and visual arts. When I share this story, about being advised to choose, many musician and artist friends shake their heads because they know this was not particularly good advice for me. But, I have also learned that we become aware of things in an order that can't always be driven. I'm reconciled with that.

At this point, it feels as if all three "siblings" have found each other, big sister visual art, middle child writer, and youngest music, and they are helping each other. My family is reunited, and as with reunited families, it takes work, readjusted expectations, disappointments, and sweat. Yet all this rests on a foundation that my three passions will remain together and cared for. This is my quirky artistic life and why I speak plainly about living without making it so complex...yet, still expecting to fly.