Meditations On Art

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FEBRUARY 2020 – Art to me has long been synonymous with excellence. The taking of something, even that which could largely be considered mundane and elevating it to the highest level to me could be seen as artistry. Whether painter, chef, composer, animator, writer, athlete, programmer, etc, I believe there is a place and rationale to continue to push yourself to the highest limits of capacity, and discover the art within you. Whatever your gifts, talents, or skills, the pursuit of mastery and your unique vision is not a wasted venture. As the world will always need more excellence and capacity for inspiration, so keep dreaming, training, and inventing!

One such group of artists who are consistently elevating their art form is Makoto Shinkai and his team of animators. Their latest work, an animated feature film titled ‘Weathering With You’, which was released internationally recently, is one such gorgeous masterpiece. Happily I found a local theatre in my area with which to go see it, my first ever opportunity to watch a Shinkai-san film on the big screen.

Weathering With You Movie Poster

‘Weathering With You’ is a beautiful story that takes place in Tokyo, Japan featuring a runaway boy who heads to the Japanese mega-city in search of a new life. Befriending a girl who has the ability to manipulate the weather, opens up a flood of emotion and enchants what is surely a magically poetic film. Delightful artistry of the highest order is a hallmark of yet another Shinkai film that is a visual spectacle of gorgeous hand-drawn animation and computer generated images.

I really loved it, though be prepared for an emotional experience, as what Shinkai is known for with his take on romance and love is loss and heartache. Every shot in this movie could be turned into a framed still image, it has that level of care and composition to it. Was a nice reminder to watch more anime, haha.

How is my writing going? I’m glad you asked, yes actually glad, as this month I have committed myself to working on the new book and it is starting to take shape.I have gone through my creative journal and I’m just diving in to the content with perhaps less spec’d out of an outline than I normally would, but seeing what my imagination delivers. Is a new approach for me (although I do have the entire plot worked out, it is more a matter of being less descriptive in my outline than usual, but not going full Stephen King with it, where I would just write and see where the story takes me. He is such a master! An artist you could say, haha), we’ll see how it goes, enjoying being back at it with creating new work.

Re-read one of my favorite books of all-time (Yes of course it’s allowed to re-read books, haha. If I had more time, I’d do it more frequently too) this month after being reminded of it during a lecture I was listening to. And thinking, you know, I want to pick that up again as there are different times in your life when certain messages are very important to hear, and I guess this was one of those times for me.

Which title was it? ‘Meditations’ by Marcus Aurelius, one of the absolute finest pieces of philosophy ever recorded in my opinion. He may have never intended for it to be published, but wow, does it feel perfectly relevant, even nearly 2,000 years after it was recorded. Originally written in Greek, I tried a second version of the work, with a translation by a different scholar this time around. I would say I prefer the initial version I read, yet the weight and knowledge of this new translation still carried a favorable reaction with me. Is easy to understand the reverence for this brilliant mind and why Marcus Aurelius’ ‘Meditations’ is lauded for being such an important work. Highly recommended read.

Take good care everyone!

~ CS

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