HAPPINESS IS FREEDOM

In “WAITING FOR GODOT” by Samuel Beckett, Pozzo and Luckey are the master and slave, connected forever by the rope which Pozzo holds and pulls… it is noosed around Luckey’s neck. The master is a slave to his slave no less than the slave is a slave to him.

This parable about the human condition seems as if to apply to all of us humans. There is seemingly no freedom. We are slaves to our addictions, our spouses, our habits, our livelihood, our society and its rules, some of us are slaves to their religion, wine, sex, work, money…

But lo and behold, we artists, are NOT slaves. We choose every morning what to do. What to invent. Where to try and sell. Whether to even sell. Where to live. Which religion to follow or none. We have no tethers – ropes that tie us down.

I thank God every day a few times a day for giving me something which enables me to be an artist, a free spirit, a free human. Really free.

People walking the art shows in America or visiting my studio in Old Jaffa, Israel, often comment with a twist of envy, but a warm heartedly spoken envy, “You are free. You are lucky. You wake up and paint whatever you like. You make a living from it. And you heal your soul through it. How I envy you.”

I reply: “Yes, you have a right to envy me. I live freedom. I breathe freedom. I did pay an enormous price already, I had to say no to many options in life, or order to preserve my freedom. I had to live on very little money for many years, and had a long road of searching, struggling, making decisions of integrity versus fame, money, comforts. The truth took a toll. But yes, happiness is freedom, and freedom is true happiness. Nothing stands next to freedom, except love.”

Sometimes we get a huge blow on the head. We sell nothing for weeks. We lose our exhibit in a storm. We need a shoulder replacement. We run out of stamina, we run out of ideas. This tough life of freedom and very hard physical work can be grueling, and bring you humbly down on your knees. Once in a storm in Houston my paintings got soaked in the fierce rain and many were destroyed. I cried like a baby. But the freedom quickly picked me up and set me on the road with a singing heart.

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