Plato, a very great smarty pantsby Tracey Deer on 04/19/12
I recently came across one of Plato’s many gems of wisdom that is so popular that it’s easy to actually overlook the profound message.
“An unexamined life is not worth living.”
Reading this instantly brought up memories of the fun 90’s flick Dick Tracy and Madonna’s quirky soundtrack that I memorized every word of. In “Now I’m following You”, with classic Madonna breathiness, she states this powerful phrase. Thus, I’ve screeched it out for most of my teens.
But it’s only recently that I’ve actually thought about it.
I’ve made a career of examining other people’s lives. I’ve probed and shared other people’s deepest secrets, fears, hopes and dreams. But with all that energy focused on other people, I haven’t really given my own life an examination – until now, that is.
I’m in the midst of an incredible journey of self-awareness, and I whole-heartedly agree with Plato. Digging into one’s own soul – and cleaning out the closet – is making everything shinier!
But what I’ve also found is that all of this self-reflection has added a jolt of electric current to my creative process. Looking inward has actually inspired three new projects – a short fiction, an experimental doc and a new media idea. All are so exciting to me that I cannot choose one over the other as my favorite!
All are at the beginning phases of development, from my brain to paper, but what I can report is that I don’t think I have ever felt this level of inspiration and intensity in conviction. (And for those of you that know me, I think this is saying a lot.)
I am completely certain that this creative energy buzzing through me is because I’m taking better care of myself, making deliberate choices for my wellbeing, and am actively working at bettering myself. It’s a process I highly recommend, for artist and non-artist alike.
Plato is, after all, one of history's greatest smart pants for a reason!