Nearly two years ago, I was taking a walk with my two-and-a-half year old granddaughter.
During that happy walk she shouted out, “Everybody makes a noise”. She then squealed loudly, and said immediately, “That’s my noise.”
In that instant, she ran down the sidewalk, and I called out to her. “Wait for me!”
She responded, “That’s papa’s noise.”
It occurred to me in that moment that she was right, of course. We all make a noise in our lives. We all want to be heard and understood above the din. And in that strange way, we are all artists.
Children sometimes speak profound truths.
But to be clear, my shout back to her will not be heeded (at least in the long run). She won’t wait for me — she has a different path in life. My granddaughter will have her own concerns and struggles, joys and loves. And my path will always seem old and outdated, with trivial fears and anxieties, and with triumphs, pleasures, and loves that pale to her own. My words won’t reach too deeply into her world. But, in good times or in bad, someone’s art — mine or more likely that of another — will find a way to touch her more intimately, and comfort her in difficult times and delight her in better times.
And so, I humbly implore: Present your own truths to others. Go make YOUR noise.
My grandchildren may need it someday.