I am a true believer that an artists physical body is merely one aspect of who they are. Truly the artists with the longest legacies are still powerful forces within our society long after their physical form has perished.
What we place into our work and our lives stretches much further than we realize. This shouldn't be confused with the worship of an icon after they pass. This is about that force of nature that we place in everything that we do.
Its so easy for us to get lost in the individual brush stroke and lose the greater perspective. We forget that the brush stroke made today will be a lasting legacy for years, decades and maybe even lifetimes to come.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not putting myself or any other on a pedestal. I fully expect that I will live and die in obscurity, but I try to plan my work, what I create both artistically and in word (like this blog) to last a whole lot longer than I will.
When the printing press was created that ushered in the first moment in history where someones words could and would last well beyond them. Till then a book was a fragile thing. A single copy may have existed. Artists on the other hand had been creating art for far longer than book writers and those works of art outlasted them. But this is the first era of the perpetual spirit. Not only what we create may survive us, but everything about us (at least what ends up on the internet) will outlast us also.
Our legacy is no longer in a single work of art but in everything that makes us who we are. Most won't even think about this. But artists, writers, musicians we leave a much larger footprint behind us and I think we have an obligation to consider what those that come after us will know about who we are.
People worry about the morality of who they are. Oh god what if someone see's that boob shot my boyfriend took of me? That is NOT worrying about your legacy. 500 years from now I suspect people won't give a damn about your boobs. What they will give a damn about is what you stood for, what you created with nothing but your hands and your mind, what you left behind to give to other generations.
The people of the past we seem to cherish the most are rarely those that led perfect devout lives. They are the ones who were flawed and who struggled with life and who expressed that struggle through their creativity.
So I ask you, what are you leaving behind? And if your not, why aren't you? Stop worrying about your damned boobs and create a legacy that goes far beyond you.
And if the curious are wondering why I chose a cemetery to represent this article (see above), its because that's not the legacy I choose to leave behind. Like those tiny orbs of light, I hope my legacy will rise above the grave and light up someones creativity along the time line.