I turned 50 this year. It’s still odd to hear it out loud…50. I remember being younger and thinking, “50… that’s old!” Now, I’m not exactly sure what 50 is supposed to feel like. I’ve finally arrived at that dreaded and magical point in life where men begin the almighty life review. I’ve scored a few wins and just as many losses. I’ve spent years fretting over past choices, but C’est la vie! In considering the idea of ‘intentions,’ I pondered what it meant to me. Intention is a spiritual force. When it comes from a pure place, it is unstoppable. After much rumination, I have decided that the dumpster fire that has been the last two years of isolation, confusion, and creative inactivity is over. I will be more conscious of the time I choose to give away to confusion, to inactivity, and to despair. I want…no…I intend to give myself the precious time to have experiences that breathe life into my world, that bring light into my eyes and peace into my soul.
As a man raised in the traditional roles all southern boys seem to be assigned from birth without question, I spent my teens & early twenties pursuing education, my mid-twenties creating a family, my thirties chasing a career, and my forties asking, “why haven’t I arrived ? “and while bewildered by the increase of white hair “where did all of that time go?!”. Expectations are fraught with frustrations. Now that I’ve reached mile marker ’50’, my sense of clarity about what is or is not important is a bit more – – refined. I guess you could say I have begun stepping into the process of discernment. My intention going forward is to acknowledge that not everything is deserving of my attention and that it is just fine to vote for myself. At the core of my soul, I am an artist. I have been blessed with many gifts, and it is my joy to pursue them with giddy curiosity. So, here are two great statements for all of us to consider in the coming year – “Live each day as if your hair’s on fire” and “pursue thy joy’. What brings you joy?
Jonathan Cain is a native of Florence, Alabama, and has been the current Curator for the Tennessee Valley Museum of Art located in Tuscumbia, AL, since January 2020. He functioned in that role previously for several years before leaving to pursue a career in education. He holds an undergraduate degree in graphic design from the University of North Alabama and graduate degrees from both the University of Mississippi (MFA – Sculpture) and the University of North Alabama (MA – Clinical Mental Health). He is an eclectic artist who likes to pursue many different media.