Saturday, June 12, 2010

Why we do it

It's funny what prompts inspiration and insight. Yesterday I found myself thinking about boundaries and what is entrenched - sacrosanct.
As old as I am I discovered something about myself- surprise.

There are few things that hurt my feelings. I'm immune and if not immune; most of the time fairly protected. I've had a lifetime to perfect those defenses. But I realized yesterday- two things cut deeply- automatically. Both are about my creative endeavors.

One is disengagement- a disinterest that is I don't care to read or view your work.
The second is value. Is there value, beyond the immediate in what I share? Is there a connection, a communication worth rereading and experiencing again?

In this immediate and short attention span world of twitter, facebook, email, and blogs perhaps I will become hardened - buck up to the trend. And those two surprising triggers will go the way of other sensitivites. But I suspect these two reactions are tied to my creative psyche.

It is evident to me that although writing is a lonely pursuit; it is an intensely social act. What prompts someone to sit and write is probably as varied as the individuals. Yet, I believe the end goal is a profound need/desire to communicate, to share, to connect. For someone who suffered from extreme shyness and has felt alienated most of her life; this realization struck me hard.

When I write, it is like when I paint. It is a private place- a flow removed from the daily mechanics of living. I agree with the characterization that painting/ writing (creativity) are a state of being - a flow. That experience continues to be one of the most profound and intense of my life. I had no idea how earnestly I desired to share, to interface socially. I am still looking for that connection.
Writing - creativity are the best of me- even though I have not reached/produced my best work. For me there is nothing more personal than writing and painting, than sharing one's creativity. It is what I have to offer.

1 comment:

  1. Over Labor Day weekend I had a very interesting conversation with a guy at a bar in Long Island City about the function of art.

    Essentially, I stated the function of art was communication, while he vehemently (though never rudely) countered that art was absolutely NOT about communicating, but about expression by the artist, which is wholly separate from communication (by his definition).

    I'm not a writer, but I do write, and I write for myself. But as you know, I've been blogging for probably almost ten years now. What started out as a solitary and anonymous activity turned into a social network of sorts. This was prior to myspace, facebook, etc.

    But even before the blogs I followed or that followed mine were comprised mostly of people that I knew "in real life," there was something immensely gratifying about getting a comment, making a connection.

    As private as I am (which isn't even half as private as most people accuse me of being), blogging is a singular activity for me.

    And one that I can only explain in the same way as I did to the gentleman in that Queens bar: expression is fine and good, but what we all really want is to be understood.