SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 286: “Art Makes My Life Happy”

My day has been rocked by kindness, power and trust in meeting today’s friend, engineer, businessman, husband, son, father and artist, Puzant.

“’I’m Armenian, born in Syria. When I was young I wanted to be an artist after high school. I studied art in Venice, Italy, and one day my father wrote me a letter after one year of study, he said, ‘My son, you’ll be a starving artist.’ I changed my subject and studied engineering.’”

As Puzant reveals this part of his history I get my initial impression of my new friend. It’s in his eyes. For in them is seen compassion towards people and an obvious love for family blazes a capturing blend of softness and wisdom hard-earned.

“’I did well… I was pretty successful, I did not do art at all. I listened to my father’s advice… ‘Starving artist.’

Then I worked, opened a service station… I opened a garage… Then I was successful… I was very successful as a matter of fact.

I bought some land… some shops… I was OK… Right here.’”

Puzant divulges his key to success.

“Self-confidence is an important part of life… Know what you are doing.”

Yeah. Easy to say, we here it… But, by the sound of it, it looks like Puzant was provided for (well, not really). But what about us who are being persecuted, or are living in deep burden?

Trust me, I’m not pointing a finger to make any of us feel bad, or trying to be a martyr, or even the dude standing on the hill with meaningless positive affirmations. That would be so contrary to real life and the world we are living in.

The fact is, as amazing as the planet and its people can be, it is equally pressed by human acts that are terribly atrocious to absorb, let alone navigate through.

And if you are deep under the pains of the hands of oppression, perhaps Puzant’s history can shed some light and a glimmer of hope.

Sure Puzant is successful by the world’s standards. He has lived a long life, has earned a measure of success and now after eighty-years is proud to say; “I am now an artist…”

I ask Puzant about the future; yet, with the wisdom of a spiritually fed philosopher, Puzant parables the future to citing from his past.

“Every man has his own heritage… no matter what you do… you cannot take me out of my heritage and I cannot take you out of your heritage.

That is how we can go forward… We need to modernize our heritage.

Like my sculpture today… it is different than what it used to be twenty-years ago… It is more modern… It is more reflective.”

More modern… more reflective, Puzant defines a life perspective – a perspective that has not been easily gained.

“When I look back twenty… thirty years, I saw many changes in my life, but they are good changes in my life,” Puzant channels to the depth of compassion that I earlier mentioned.

“The changes that I got from my heritage as an Armenian. They massacred us… 1.5 million… and that stayed in my blood. The Turks forced us from our homeland.”

My father escaped from the massacres… he survived. My mother survived.”

Puzant’s speak of heritage, and with tears in eyes, he opens up a deeper wound, “Bad things happen in our life…” (Eye’s welling up)… Long pause… “When your father tells you that there were seven sisters and brothers killed and he was the survivor…” (The conversation becomes silent).

Puzant has experienced pain, pain that even tough he has found a place of peace and balance in life, is still part of his emotional and historical DNA. In his tears it is evident that his path has not been an easy one. And in his powerfully peaceful countenance, it is manifest that his love for family and values in respecting his heritage is well deserved.

I ask Puzant what he can share with those who are casting any judgment.

“Advice…? I hope it never happens again. Now we have the United Nations as a referee of the world. They have to say what is right or what is wrong. Not like before the first world war, 1918, 1916, 1910.”

And to support his global dream Puzant directs us towards ourselves, “I don’t know what the future is… We’re living a life that day after day we modernize ourselves.

Every day we have a new concept… a new way of doing things. That is the modernization.

I’m eighty; it is not easy to stay healthy in this country. Smog, eating, the way of life here… where fifty to sixty percent of American’s are overweigh and not healthy.”

Puzant has granted us a gamut of perspectives, from historical awareness of the lowest moments of mankind, to the courage to stay true to dreams while managing responsibilities, to advice on both physical and spiritual health, he has lifted our eyes.

“If there is one thing I’ve grown to understand…” Puzant departs, …Success does not come with money… of course it helps.

“And for now… Art makes my life happy”


The Home-To-Home Reach-Out is still open, Please submit your snap shots. We are up to fifteen pictures in so far. I’m still expecting many more than that. Your input is vital to really make this outreach impactful. So wherever you are, you matter and your photos can be part in bringing us all closer together. Thanks friends.