Sunday, 20 September 2015

Thoughts from the shoreline

It is not hard to understand one’s fascination with the ocean, or with mountains, great ravines, or expansive meadows. These things are mesmerizing in their grandiosity, and we are drawn to them. Irregardless of culture, religion, background or worldview, we are fascinated, curious even, by those things that make us feel small. It is a strange irony indeed, that we spend so much time and energy wanting to feel grand ourselves. We desire a sense of importance, meaning and purpose; we want to feel big. It is not wrong. It simply is.

Yet we are overcome, in the most wonderful way, when we are faced with something so immense that we feel as if we are but a speck. Perhaps that feeling – that soul drenching feeling – can be likened to one’s mirror being replaced with window. A shift in perspective. There is a whole world to see, to be admired. We have forgotten, because we’ve spent too much time admiring ourselves, in a manner of speaking. That is, our focus has long since been zoomed in on the minute details of our lives, that we have failed to view the bigger picture that our small human life is a part of.

The irony continues, in that there is a certain kind of power in the relinquishing of our power to something greater than us. To realize that we are all in this grand, mysterious world together is to realize how precious life really is.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Good Enough

“You’re an artist when you say you are. And you’re a good artist when you make somebody else experience or feel something deep or unexpected.” - Amanda Palmer, The Art of Asking

I question every submission on this blog before I post it, asking myself in some way or another: “Is this good enough?” Hoping in futility that if enough people notice, I will suddenly become “known”. I will be Gretchen, the Writer. I will be able to say “I am an artist”, and others will agree. I will be legitimized; validated.

The reason this is futile can be found in perfect summary in Amanda Palmer’s words, above. I am already an artist. I don’t have to be known, or good enough, or a viral phenomenon, for this to be true. For these are fantasies at best, and vain ones at that. Vanity is not my aim, nor is it my motivation. I do, however, desire to move people. I want them to connect to my words. Not because they are mine, but because I know the feeling, that beautiful feeling, of reading another person’s work and feeling the loneliness dissipate; as if your soul has found a friend, even if you should never meet. I want others to experience this feeling of connecting to something bigger than oneself. I want to be part of proliferating those experiences, so that they may pass on their own inspiration.

So I will continue to write, and I will encourage others to do the same. Choose your art. Stake your claim as an artist. Be it writing, music, visual arts, photography, design – Do it for the love of the craft. Do it for the love of connection. Do it for those people in the world, like myself, who are seeking to experience “something deep or unexpected.”