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Art Work

by Ariel & Shya Kane

People who are desirous of being an "artist" often get confused and think that art should be an expression of their quixotic, capricious nature. Their "work" is something that is shouting, "Look at me! Look at me! Aren’t I creative?!" They are so worried about being perceived as unique and special that they forget that being oneself is rare, unique and special in and of itself. Often in the mix is the idea that being neurotic is an important component to creating and that without those idiosyncratic or self destructive ways of doing things something valuable would be lost.

There is another possible way to look at artistic expression and an alternative definition of an artist: Those who go about their work with excellence, regardless of the profession.

A few years back while in Seattle, we had occasion to visit an outdoor art installation that was set near the Space Needle. Olympic Sculpture Park has pieces by world-renowned artists such as Alexander Calder and Richard Serra. As we strolled the grounds we saw many folks stopping and admiring the formations. The sculptures ranged from striking to whimsical, imposing to lyrical. The day was beautiful, clouds dotted the blue skies, and it was lovely to be there.

Down at the corner of the property was "art work" that was equally as captivating, and perhaps more so, than some of the sculpture behind us. There was a crew of men wearing hardhats, steel toe boots and orange reflective vests who were doing street work. The work was exacting – using jackhammers and backhoes. They weren’t looking to have people admire them; they were just doing their jobs. Watching these artisans at work was watching poetry in motion.

One of our favorite "artists" is Tamrynne. She is a lithe young woman in her mid-twenties who works at a marina in Cape Cod. Tamrynne hails from South African bush country and has learned everything she knows about boats and machines and equipment during on the job training at the boat yard. Ryder’s Cove Boatyard is on a small cove and there is not enough room for all of the boats to be moored in the water so they use a system of racks. These multi-story steel structures have a series of wooden bunks and boats are placed on them side-by-side when not in use. The boats are lifted on and off these racks with a "marina bull lift" that has a lifting capacity of 23,000lbs. Think of something with long arms that slip under a boat’s hull, scoop it up and carry it from rack to sea and back again.

For the last several years we often stop and admire Tamrynne’s expertise. At first it was watching her pilot boats out to moorings or getting them ready to go to sea. And for the last couple of years, to watch her calmly and assuredly maneuver this huge piece of heavy equipment and gently hoist boats off the rack and carry them over to the water where she places them right near dock is like magic.

There are other people at the yard who use the lift as well but there is something about Tamrynne that always has us stop and watch awhile. It is not that she is pretty (which she is) and it is not that she is a "girl" using a big machine, it is her manner that is so captivating. Many women doing a "man’s job" would add a dose of attitude, a splash of proving – "Look at me, I can not only do what you do, I can do it better." Not so with Tamrynne. When she pilots a boat, ties it to the dock or moves it across the yard with the lift, she does so with an unselfconscious alacrity that is inspiring. There is direct quality to her movements. There is no hesitancy, no reluctance, no apparent inner conversation of "Do I want to?" or "Can I do it?" She seems to move through time and space with lack of resistance, no complaint. She simply works. It is art. It is art work.

Since 1987, internationally acclaimed authors, seminar leaders, and business consultants Ariel and Shya Kane have acted as guides, leading people through the swamp of the mind into the clarity and brilliance of the moment. To find out more about the Kanes, their NYC seminars and their Transformational Community or to sign up to join their email newsletter, The Excellence Club: Having It All, visit their website at: www.TransformationMadeEasy.com.

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