I love creative expression. I may not like a person’s art itself, but I love the creative impulse behind that art, and for that reason, I love the art.
For the same reason, I love live performances (music, theatre, dance–anything). A live performance is in the moment and is completely unique. You will never see that performance again, even if you go to the same concert or play several times. I don’t care if the performers make mistakes–that’s part of the performance. I don’t care if the performance isn’t stellar. The experience matters most to me.
Here’s an example of what I mean.
A few years ago, I met a fellow editor at a free outdoor music performance at the Lagunitas Brewing Company‘s outdoor concert area. The musicians were enthusiastic and clearly having a good time, but they were HORRIBLE. Not just one performer, but ALL of them.
To say they stank is to malign the word “stank.” They were so unbelievably bad, I went from my initial surprised disbelief to amusement.
Maybe the artists were relying on the copious amounts of beer flowing to keep the audience inebriated enough not to notice. Or care. Or maybe every last musician was just having an off night. A really off night.
I enjoyed it all. I enjoyed the company of my fellow editor. I enjoyed the music for what it was. I enjoyed the musicians’ enthusiasm. I enjoy watching the lines of people waiting for beer. I enjoyed the cold dampness of the grassy hill we sat on. I enjoyed the summer air as it cooled slightly from the day’s heat to a perfect warm/cool touch–too gentle to call a breeze–on my arms and cheeks. I enjoyed the feeling of being among a crowd of people all having a good time. I enjoyed the truly delicious meal I bought beforehand at one of the food trucks Lagunitas brought in for the evening.
The experiences I had there are indelible. They’re part of my life now. I don’t regret anything–not the time spent, or the longish drive and the hassle with finding parking, not the long, unrelenting assault on my ears. I don’t care about any of that. It was all good, all enjoyable.