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  • Writer's pictureJeanette Miura

Practice Art - Make Your Soul Grow

"Practice any matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow." Kurt Vonnegut

This advice by Kurt Vonnegut is exactly why I launched Fiery Living last month. It was an impulse that I decided to follow solely to grow my soul. My regular mode of operation is that of an over thinker. My mom nostalgically tells the story of my first steps. She says that I refused to take my first step as a baby until I was absolutely sure I would not fall. I looked around, assessed the room, and after a thorough risk analysis finally took my first step.

Fiery Living has forced me to step outside my comfort zone and jump in! For the first time I have decided to "feel" my way through a project instead of over thinking my way through. I have decided to focus on all of the reasons why I should be doing this instead of talking myself out of it in order to protect my ego. Through writing and this platform I am powerfully learning who I am, and more importantly becoming comfortable sharing this authentic self with the world.

Create and dream with me. Share your art with the world! I am happy to post your writing, artwork, music, or video on this website. You are brilliant. Inspire others to live strongly and brightly.

Wishing everyone a joyous day filled with love and laughter.

Letter from Kurt Vonnegut to a High School English Class

In 2006 a high school English teacher asked students to write a famous author and ask for advice. Kurt Vonnegut was the only one to respond - and his response is magnificent:

“Dear Xavier High School, and Ms. Lockwood, and Messrs Perin, McFeely, Batten, Maurer and Congiusta:

I thank you for your friendly letters. You sure know how to cheer up a really old geezer (84) in his sunset years. I don’t make public appearances any more because I now resemble nothing so much as an iguana.

What I had to say to you, moreover, would not take long, to wit: Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.

Seriously! I mean starting right now, do art and do it for the rest of your lives. Draw a funny or nice picture of Ms. Lockwood, and give it to her. Dance home after school, and sing in the shower and on and on. Make a face in your mashed potatoes. Pretend you’re Count Dracula.

Here’s an assignment for tonight, and I hope Ms. Lockwood will flunk you if you don’t do it: Write a six line poem, about anything, but rhymed. No fair tennis without a net. Make it as good as you possibly can. But don’t tell anybody what you’re doing. Don’t show it or recite it to anybody, not even your girlfriend or parents or whatever, or Ms. Lockwood. OK?

Tear it up into teeny-weeny pieces, and discard them into widely separated trash receptacles. You will find that you have already been gloriously rewarded for your poem. You have experienced becoming, learned a lot more about what’s inside you, and you have made your soul grow.

God bless you all!

Kurt Vonnegut

Photo Credit: Jamez Miura - Rae Lakes.

This backpacking trip to Rae Lakes was my first jump into living strongly. I found the courage to do something I was really scared of. Here I am resting after having climbed Glenn Pass (11,000 feet). I completed a 41 mile loop with a 30 lbs pack strapped to my back and life has never been the same since.

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