As I mentioned previously, one of my guilty pleasures is to watch episodes of The Golden Girls while I work on art projects. I do not actually watch so much as I listen, with a glance at the screen now and then, because some moments on that extremely well written show are just worth the pause, every time.
What I want to do now, however, is share another guilty pleasure. I also watch documentaries while sewing. I find these on hulu. Some date back to the 60’s; others are as recent as 2012. What I enjoy about documentaries is that I can ignore the screen and keep focused on my work, while at the same time engaging my mind with something new, a fresh perspective or the life experiences of great entrepreneurs and dreamers.
Last night, I watched a 2009 documentary titled Examined Life.
“…entertaining and thought-provoking excursions with some of today’s most famous and influential thinkers. Included are Peter Singer on the ethics of consumption; Slavoj Zizek on the environment; Michael Hardt on the nature of revolution; Judith Butler and Sunaura Taylor question culture’s fixation on individualism. And Cornel West… compares philosophy to jazz and blues, reminding us how intense and invigorating a life of the mind can be.” – Hulu summary
The camera follows each philosopher through New York City, Central Park or San Fransisco, on foot, by cab and even while rowing a boat, as each eloquently shares their concept of what it means to live a mindful life. For the viewer, it feels as though you are accompanying them on a walk much like two long-time friends would spend an afternoon chatting about life. It was a pure delight.
A few days back, I came a cross the story of the inventor of the Jelly Bellies. The documentary is titled he amazing true story of David Klein who came up with the concept of Jelly Belly jellybeans.” – Hulu summary
Nevertheless, the title was compelling (especially for someone with a sweet tooth), but I am glad I watched this for another reason. The inventor in question is clearly an original character, one who quite simply allowed the unfolding of his vision no matter what. As an artist (though I find this small word to be a bit too big at times), I occasionally experience insecurity about how my work might be perceived, or even my lifestyle or the way I dress (I am not exactly a fashion bug). Seeing the journey of other creative souls reminds me that we each have our own signature and that’s OK.