What matters to you ?

My dad calls me over to his laptop: "Want to see some great art?"  

A question he knows I cannot resist.

 

And so I walk around to the other side of the table to look at the screen and see ... an exhaust pipe ... made of stainless steel ... that's hand welded ... and mandrel bent ... and costs $530.

 

And of course he's right, it is art. Or maybe, to be clearer, it's his art. I think when we say art, there's always an implied possessive pronoun. Art has to be for someone. If there's no someone, then there's no art. And since no art is for everyone, we're all going to have different art.

 

My dad loves bikes and cars and trucks and $530 exhaust pipes. He told me today about how he can hook a computer up to his engine and change the way it sounds. Which, of course, I couldn't care less about. In the best sense, though, because I don't have to care about it. He cares about it, and I love that he cares about it, I love the joy and playfulness it brings to his soul.

 

This isn't a story about gender distinctions or some kind of generation gap - this is a story about being human, about what makes us each a unique force in the universe. Dad loves his car, his co-worker Jason loves his speakers, I love 200 square foot houses and making lists of everything I own. My little sister loves the Ringling Brothers, my mom loves Princess glass and running marathons, and my step-dad loves framed poems he buys at antique stores.

 

We've all got something, which means we can all be leaders. We can all lead in the one little weird obscure space where we are experts, where we have something unique to offer the world.