on being the portal

I’ve written about how the best art acts a portal, transporting us somewhere else entirely. Be it a story that takes us on a journey with its characters or a painting that swallows us whole, we engage with these works to get outside of ourselves.

But what if we’re the portals?

a self-portrait taken at the Contemporary Art Center in Spring 2018

I’m revisiting Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art, a book that was essential in shaping my path as an artist. It’s a book filled with profound wisdom for engaging with resistance, a malevolent force that will do anything to prevent the artist from completing their work.

In his assessment of a quote by William Blake, Pressfield says, “Eternity, as Blake might have told us, has opened a portal into time. And we’re it.”

Pressfield makes that argument that ideas come from a higher plane, an ethereal somewhere else that exists outside time and physical space. When we are locked into creative flow, we channel the ideas that exists there, momentarily becoming portals through which music, poetry, and art enter into the world.

The work is not our own. As artist, we’re no more than the conduit through which the current moves.