Good Morning Emblems!
No, I am not getting a divorce - you’ll see in a little bit why I titled this post what I did. And, even if I wanted to, I couldn’t leave Kathleen, she has become a part of me - it would be like leaving my head. Like our friend Jane leaving her apartment without lipstick.
There always seem to be artistic contests peeking their heads around the corner. Writing contests - Theme song contests - Art in Publlc Spaces contests. To me, when ever you put the word contest after anything it negates the idea that came before, like the word but sometimes does. I like her, but she is quite insane.
Well meaning friends and family are always telling me of a contest I should enter, and I listen, go to their website - read ALL the rules and guidelines, stipulations and regulations. I then sit-down and try to start. My starter turns over but the engine never fires up. I cannot create anything (will not) when I am having to satisfy a requirement or please a judge. I’ve entered several different types of contests over the years and the results were always the same. Lousy. My heart wasn’t truly into it. And my heart is were it all starts.
Art contest - Writing contest - Fiddler contest - Poetry contest - They are almost oxymorons. How can someone turn something as beautiful as a song or a poem into a competition? I don’t know how, or why - but they do. I understand that some competition is healthy, especially in athletic and academic endeavors. It also sells tickets that provide the revenue that keeps the doors open of most of the colleges in the USA. I understand that. But, it also fills bars - bowling alleys - professional sporting venues. In other words - competition is good for the bottom line.
That answers the why, but how do you get an artist, writer, or musician to put themselves through the pain of competition. For one thing you start them early, get them used to the competitive air like the one you find at Bluegrass festivals and fiddle camps. This start ‘em early attitude can be found in one shape or another in every genre. How they do it is the same as the reason as the why they do it. Parents feel that they are increasing their childs chances of being successful as a musician if they win at these events. Competing and winning increase their bottom line’s potential.
But, mainly I think people just like to compete. They like to see how the measure stacked up against others like them. They need to know who is best. Last Monday’s post was about how I feel you can never know who the best is at anything. If I am right then it all is moot. Moot, but not benign. Not benign, and perhaps even dangerous, for it reinforces the notion that success and happiness can be quantitatively measured by salary - trophies - awards - or ratings. Measured by outside forces instead of internal or personal satisfaction. I feel this is dangerous because even though you came in first place in the Banjo competition it doesn’t mean you are a great or even good musician.It definitely doesn’t mean you’re the best. It only means that those judges had to make a decision based on subjective criteria - and they choose you.
I’M #1 - I DON’T HAVE TO TRY
I feel that it is up to an individual to judge themselves, if they come up a winner in their own mind then they are - they can be truly happy and successful no matter how many flat picking face-offs they have lost. This is one of those times where the opposite is NOT also true, for no matter how many judges or parents or teachers tell you you are a winner - if you don’t feel that way about yourself then you never will be truly successful.
Artistic competitions - battles - bake-offs and the rest have always left a bad taste in my mouth. I guess I think differently than a lot of people do. I’m not very competitive - playful yes - ambitious no. I think we should all help complete each other, not compete with each other. Share instead of compare. Just battling for space this planet is hard enough without all the unneeded aggravation. We need to divorce ourselves from the contest attitude - we need to all bang our gavels and say “quiet in this courtroom.” Quiet please, because I just entered a writing contest and I’m having to force myself into being creative. I want to be judged the bestest word maker in the county fair. And that’s where it’s at. i win.
I win - You win - We all win - When we begin - To look within.
just say yes!
meet Andy Ward King, a professional musician and artist until a diagnosis of parkinons dsease at age 49 forced him into an early retirement., he now uses his music, his art along with the whimsical world he has created in this blog as therapy to ( as he puts it ) outsmart his brain and make the daily battles with parkinson’s a little bit easier, to give him that all important reason to get up on the morning, to make his life worth living. Andy has learned how to say NO to gving up \ NO to depression and apathy \ NO to following willingly the road of decline that stretches before him. he learned that to say no to all of these things all one has to do is say yes. Andy has learned to just say YES to life/\\