A couple of days ago I learned about a concept called Amor Fati. It’s a Latin term coined by Nietzsche and means loving acceptance of your fate.
I really connected with it because in my artwork and in life I’m a true believer in letting go, although it is difficult at times.
Nietzsche believed fate and self-will work hand in hand. We work towards our goals, prepare for an outcome, and we have to push through when things get hard. That’s the self-will part.
But how often do things turn out differently than we thought they would in our heads? Did you think your life was going to turn out the way it did? Probably not. Most people will say, Oh, if I knew then what I know now. Fate always has a different plan for us, doesn’t it?
This is where Amor Fati comes in, and it works in two ways. We can apply it to both the past and the future and in both instances, it helps us stay in the moment.
For the past, we can remind ourselves that we did our best and that fate brought us here, so we don’t need to have any regrets.
Likewise, for the future, as long as we do our best we can let go of complete control because fate will always surprise us. It’s very freeing.
Furthermore, the outcome might even be better than what we were hoping for. Since we didn’t demand, control, and wrestle with the results, fate is free to give us more than we would have asked for. At the very least, it was an enjoyable process in the moment because we were able to embrace the unknown instead of fear it.
Pretty cool, huh?
This happened when I worked on this piece, which I’ve now named Amor Fati. I made a very different collage at first with all sorts of details of water and sky - but you can't see it. I added too much paint, on accident, and covered it up. You can still see some of the maps that I used at the very top, but barely.
Eventually, I let go of the struggle and tried to make the foreground pop instead. The Queen Anne’s Lace (the white puffy flowers) came together beautifully with paper doilies of all things. They were the perfect size for the flowers and the lace is so appropriate - Queen Anne's Lace! Also, you can still see the collaged details in the sand. That paper came from a mystery game about pirates. The writing, which you can see in the close-ups, is part of the ship’s log which has clues to find the buried treasure. A metaphor, perhaps?
Ok, I hope you enjoy! I’m having a lot of fun with this series and with writing about my themes. They’re like little pep talks for myself and I hope you find them inspiring, too.
Acrylic and Mixed Media on Canvas Panel