I woke up this morning thinking about frequency and resonance. Waves of light. Waves of sound. Brain waves.
I woke up thinking about how amazing it is that I have the power to send a message out into the world, a feeling that will be experienced by someone who has never met me, who hasn't see me or heard me or touched me.
I thought about how our senses are like radio receivers, picking up vibrations, resonating with some frequencies but not with all.
The mystery of it all leaves me feeling the way the ocean makes me feel when I stand on the sand and feel the power of the surf throbbing in my bones.
But what moves me even more than the means of transportation is the package conveyed, the meaning we share with each other through art.
An artist works with waves, plays with frequencies.
A Flemish painter brings forth a masterpiece, hoping others will see in it what he sees, will feel in it what he feels. The painting is passed from one person to another, ending up in a museum in Europe.
And when I stand before his painting, nearly four hundred years after he created it, fresh waves of light reflect off the painting and enter me, carrying a face from long ago, seen as Rubens saw it, in every detail.
Isn't that wonderful?
Art enables connection to transcend geography, to go beyond the limits of an era. A piece of Hopi pottery captivating the imagination of someone in Iceland centuries after it was formed. A script written thousands of years ago causing a modern scholar's heart to soar.
This is the power you hold as an artist.
So much power. So much potential. And yet...
Your sense of that power becomes muddled and murky, hidden so easily among the concerns of everyday life, the need for acceptance, the need to survive, the desire to be on top of things so as not to be overrun.
But your power is always there, even when hidden.
I have a friend whose music makes me smile and cry and yearn.
I have a friend whose paintings make me want to step into them.
I have a friend whose words defy analysis, turning straight into feelings, entering my mind on waves of light, flooding into me on brain waves, stirring my soul, shaking me awake.
Last year, on May 25th, I sat in a hospital room with my wife while our baby son died in our arms. That evening, I sent out this picture and some words to share how I felt. I sent my message through tens of thousands of miles of wire, waves of grief riding waves of electricity.
A thousand people received my message, and a thousand people wept with me. And many of them sent their own messages back to me, telling me they were with me, that I was not alone.
Our power to convey meaning has never been more leveraged than it is today. The means of connection are vast. So many ways to send out messages.
Today I hope you see this power for what it is, a tremendous gift which you have the ability to nurture and grow in. I hope you use it for something wonderful.
The stakes are high. Someone in the world is searching for meaning, waiting for you to move beyond fear and reach out.
Through any medium and frequency of your choosing.
You need not be the loudest or most popular or most polished.
You need only send your message.
And when the waves you send have passed, their marks will remain, still, below the surface, waiting to be discovered, waiting to transmit ever more wonder.
Rock someone's boat.
In the good times.
In the hard times.
Connect. Reach out.
It's time to let go of the thought that you are not qualified or skilled enough to send out what is in your heart to share.
That thought isn't serving you. It isn't true. It no longer has a place in your life.
You hold something precious within you, something valuable, something we need from you. What you share - and the way you share it - have the power to change the course of someone's life.
But only if you step out and make some waves.
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