Remember Your Roots

By Dominique McKee

Published: 2020-07-12

These petty ego negotiations
Like small weeds blowing in the wind
At the base of my thick wooden trunk
They are nothing to me
Nothing compared to
My roots going down for miles beneath the earth
Until they reach the water so deep so sweet ..so waiting for me
The sun pouring itself over me
Craning my neck back to take it all in
Branches and leaves
Unfurl, outstretch
Ever reaching
Until I almost fall back at the weight and height and size of it all
Of this love and its warmth
my complete supplication to it
And the soft remembrance that rests just over me and whispers
You are safe.

1. What does the word “artist” mean to you and is that how you identify? Did it take you time to adopt that identity?
I think being an artist just means you devote time to your own natural inclination for self expression and creativity. I think we’re all artists, but some of us are more activated and more disciplined than others. For me, the title of artist, means that I’ve taken the time to connect with myself - and frankly, that’s been abandoned for some time. I feel often like I’m returning to the scene of an abandoned home, when I write, and that I’m watering these small flowers that have remained resilient and steadfast for me.

2. What does the word “technology” mean to you?
Technology to me is our mode of connection and sharing in this incredibly isolating time. Sometimes it feels exciting and abundant, and other times it feels depersonalizing and limiting to connect this way.

3. What role does technology play in your art?
I use technology in so far as I use sharing platforms and social media to share written work.

4. What role do you see art having on present global culture?
I think our present global culture, values art that fits our current attention span. I think the true value of art, slow art, is to learn to spend time with ourselves and to excavate our work from this deep place. It means drawing ourselves away from the existential hangover of our phones and producing work that is beautiful and restorative, and coming back to share this. Art is globally important in so far as it encourages deep sharing and in so far as it lengthens our attention span toward others rather than to reduce it to one minute and thirty seconds.

5. In your opinion, can you separate art as distinct from artist? From the environment in which it was created? From its societal era? Why or why not?
I think the deeper that the artist drives into self-knowing, for the purpose of creating, the more they come into contact with internalizations drawn from their environment. I think to create beautiful art, our art has to distill the noise of our egos and of our environment and has to be nimble, and observant of higher truths. That’s a bit of a platonic view of art and likely flawed but that tends to be my lean.


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