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An Artist's Chronicle | Let Them Be Artists

It's typical to drive down a back country road and almost run over a photographer around these parts. Sometimes, I might even be that photographer you almost run over. The mountainous terrain and flowing hills with cattle are unending in beauty, even during the gloomiest of seasons. But a photographer on the side of the road—capturing a picture of a cow grazing as her new calf jumps about—isn't simply taking a photo of a cow. They're capturing a photo of life.

Growing up, whenever someone would say "artist", I always thought of a painter or sculptor. Think Leonardo or Michelangelo. Artists were always someone you chuckled at and said "that's not a real job". They were the dreamers, the hippies, the ones you didn't take seriously. They painted for a living, for goodness sake. Where was the merit in that?

But as I've grown older, I've realized something...

Artists are the people in life who have one of the most important jobs

Artists are't just painters and sculptors. They're photographers, writers, musicians, poets...

They're the ones who make you feel something when you flip a page in a book. Or when you hear that song on the radio, and a melody brings back a memory.

They're the ones who can recall a landscape, long after it has been built up by modernized housing and smart cars.

They're the ones who, if not for them, we would have no clue what our past Presidents looked like—or rulers, or Kings and Queens, or history.

They're the ones that we quote in Hallmark cards, and the ones that we share with our children at bedtime stories. The ones who created imagination and fairy-tales.

As a modernized artist—a photographer and writer—these facts always make me smile. But there's a deeper, richer side to an artist. It's a burdensome task, but one that is necessary.

The art of documenting life.

I was reminded of this recently while reading through every single blog post that country music artist, Rory Feek, wrote through out his wife's, Rory, battle with cancer.

There were countless amounts of people who praised him for his words and the love he shared with his wife. And there were still equally the same amount of people scoffing and telling him how much of a horrible person he was for putting her final days online.

There's something you should know about artists.

Whether the artist is a musician, a song writer, a photographer, a novelist, or a painter, we feel differently. 

We love differently, and richer.

We feel heartache, as if it were a thousand needles in the heart, being pounded one by one.

We grieve differently, and much deeper.

We laugh at silly things, and sometimes things that make absolutely no sense to others.

But most of all, we see the beauty in life. Yes, even the death of life.

And for us, documenting it all may not only be the best way for us to cope, but the best way for us to fix. In a world that is constantly going wrong, there are artists to give hope, to share love, and document in a way that helps countless amounts of others in the process.

I have no doubt that his wife would be proud of him, because as an artist, she gets it.

It is inevitable that death will one day consume us all—family, friends, pets. But the beauty of this, and the beauty of Joey Feek, is that death came calling, and she was ready for it. 

You see, if not for life, there would be no songs.

If not for heartache, there would be no novels.

If not for happiness, there would be no poems.

And if not for artists, there would be no documentation of it all.

So I say, let them be artists. Let them write the heartache and the laughter. Let them sing the glorious hymns of artists past. Let them paint a thousand pictures of landscapes, for one day, they might be covered in town homes and factories.

And when you see that photographer prancing around a back road, taking a photo of a random cow in a field. Remember that they aren't simply taking a photo, but they are documenting the newest life that the Earth has welcomed. And that, my friends, is worth capturing.

As we say goodbye to one beautiful soul, we say hello to thousands of others in our world each day. But if that one soul, captured by an artist, can inspire someone else in life....I say, let them be artists....

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