I was obedient to this message that I was given to share which proves to me that there is much to be said about following our instincts. I initially thought it might not be as clear to others as it is to myself. The message actually resonated with a lot of people when I shared it so what better place than here to fully explore the idea that we are living time capsules.
This is a season in life that I've become disdainfully acquainted with in the past. It's a season where people who I love are transitioning from this life. It's been said that this happens in groups of three but to be honest it's been more. Most recently Professor Richard Fewell who has had my back as an artist and friend for at least fifteen years now.
Time capsules. We fill them with items from our present day experience. Things that have been important in our lives like letters that explain all that there is to be discovered. Our lives define what will be in our capsule. The question arises then, what will be in your time capsule?
There are people who will fill theirs with material things that won't last a few years, never mind hundreds. They have money, cars, jewelry, name brands. They are less concerned with legacy and more concerned with having, sometimes even taking. None of what they acquire will improve the quality of life for others or change the world for the better. They serve an immediate need and that is all. Is this bad? Well, bad is relative. Although there will be nothing that goes beyond their time on earth in their capsule.
When I think of Professor Fewell's time capsule, I think of a beautiful illuminated space with words spinning on the walls. The foundation is God, family, friends, love. The center is full of plays, poems, performances, random hellos and heavy goodbyes, books, conversations, laughter. His capsule is at capacity. His capsule is breathtaking. When I delivered this message at his memorial the whole room was in agreement.
So then there was are the people who are left behind. The ones who know the stories to share and can keep the spirit empowered. I have always believed that nobody dies until they are forgotten. Until we stop speaking their names, honoring their traditions, carrying on their words and work. It is not until we stop carrying them with us and letting their legacy become complacent that they will truly be gone. What will those we leave behind have to speak about if we are not handing over good material. What will be said about us when we are no longer here.
Each painting, poem and event that I create is another memory to add to my capsule. Each laugh, hug, conversation, prayer, fight, triumph and idea manifested fills it to the brim. We will never be perfect because we were brought into this life with imperfections but our imperfections can become testimonies and testimonies can save lives. As an artist, I tell the stories that I live and feel in the hope that I will be liberated in the speaking or presenting of my art. The next level to that is when someone outside of myself becomes liberated as well. Understanding that we can live on through the art we create and stay on the forefront of discussions through the way we improve the world by using our lives wisely is motivation enough to do all that I can to grow and master my work. It should motivate us all.
Richard Fewell would call or email me after each event that he attended to express his gratitude and say that he was proud of me. One of the many things I am already blessed with from his time here was understanding the importance of affirming other artists...of affirming other human beings. See, now his time here can uplift you. Pay it forward.
Find Shanna Melton's newest publication titled "Unraveling My Thoughts on Amazon.com. Click the link by visiting the Poetry Page on www.PoeticSoulArts.net or click here.
Find Richard Fewell's publications on Amazon.com by clicking here.