One of the good things about keeping busy with readings and school is that I’ve been so immersed in my writing. So naturally, that’s where all my life lessons have been coming from recently. Like the one that goes: it’s not what happens that matters, but what’s discovered along the way. This could apply to readers and writers of a particular piece, but I think it can apply to the way we approach life, too. Here I am, spending so much time working on my writing, and what would it mean, reaching whatever end goal I’m heading toward, if I didn’t learn something valuable along the way?
I keep running across reminders of this lesson. It appeared in craft talks from folks like Sandra Alcosser and Joseph Millar at my residency last month. And again in a documentary I recently came across, called “Breathless in Trinidad & Tobago.” It’s a film by Vincent T. Joachim, documenting his travels with Jeff Cruz to Gonzalez, Trinidad to teach a free photography workshop to youth. I can’t believe I didn’t find this earlier – a film about the empowerment of youth through the influence of art, set in my father’s home country of Trinidad. This is such a great find.
Joachim helps change the lives of the young people he works with by not only boosting their photography skills, but also by helping them see how the tools they use in their art can also apply to their ways of living. For youth growing up in a country where so many are affected by violence, gaining the confidence and skill these young people build could make a life-altering difference.
On one assignment, Joachim urges the young photographers to “change your perspective – not just in photography, but in your daily life.”
That’s something I’m trying in my writing. And in other ways, too.
What do you learn from creating art?
Check out this clip from “Breathless in Trinidad & Tobago,” and watch the entire film on Vimeo here.