The Meaning of Art is in Art Itself
I taught creative writing classes years back and found there are two common perceptions/fears I found cropping up in the students.
1. The thought that one couldn’t write, which created a hesitancy to put pen to paper. What this really is, is a concern that what one wants to say, to express, to creatively invent may be judged and not accepted, that one’s self worth is dependent on an opinion by an outside source.
2. They were afraid of openly expressing their thoughts and feelings on the writings of others.
So often, we shut up and lock up, literally our flow of essence into creation or sharing about creations because we are reluctant to cause an argument. Quite honestly, we are afraid of separation and lashed out irritation because of perceiving such. I loved the classes in college where we could all read a book and share about it openly, giving our thoughts and feelings that came up in the process of delving into the characters and specific story painted by the writer, without any of us feeling that the other was intentionally debating with us to cause friction.
Art is meant to bring us together. Yet art is also meant to bring us into all of the aspects that can separate us, the nuances, that make us human, which includes the light and the dark, the up and the down, the here and the there, and even beyond all of these. Art brings IN the circle of life and shows all of the lines that were drawn to create the sphere, yet even exposes the lines that go beyond what you can see. I recall in my younger years, when I would share a poem I wrote with my mother, she would say, “I don’t know. What do you want me to say?” I would respond, “whatever you want to say.” Therefore, “I don’t know” would suffice. She later did tell me that she remembers being ridiculed and redirected to the “right” answer if it was wrong in school. Hence this is where her hesitancy to even allow herself to feel or take in what I created came from and her reluctance to share with me. In art, there is no “right” or “wrong” answers. There is what you perceive, and what you allow yourself to receive, and THEN, those can change, again and again, and again, never giving you a concrete set response. This is the joy and the versatility of art. It allows us to be penetrated from deep within, to the core of who we think we are, for those pieces to be vibrated as they move around, recreating our self beyond self back into self. Art touches the places that are undefined, that can’t be defined, that lose their intention when we try to bring a definition in where one just doesn’t belong. Art is here and there but beyond, even beyond where our comprehension can travel.
Art is meant to ignite the existence of self, to bring about connection between very likely things and the most unlikely of things. It connects the things that aren’t connected. It brings the focus upon the illusions, for everything is connected. Yet it also highlights the connections, because everything is an illusion. Art intends to unite all things that seem to be separate, and separate things that seem to be connected. Within this, we are given the invitation to move into what we know and move beyond what we think we know, to the places of not knowing. As we accept this invitation into the unknown, all worlds and no worlds open up to us. We are in a place of presence. Art can bring us there as it joins us yet it is up to us, each one of us, how we recreate or what we erase there. This is the field that Rumi brings our awareness to, “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” Yet he goes on further, “When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other” doesn’t make any sense.” Ah, but us humans, conceptual beings that we are, desire to take what we experience and confine it into words. This is where words fail, where words can bring about separation rather than union. Art is meant to bring us profoundly into the union of things by the path of distinguishing between things while taking away that which distinguishes. In these moments of using words to express what flows through our human vessels while we were in the field, it is best to just not attach to them and let them continue to move the energy within and around. Stay IN that field while you are not in the field. Be in the balance of both. This is where art exists, as it persists in its attempt to reside there.
Why is it that we desire to watch a movie or read a book and then continue to take in the sequels or prequels? Because there is something that we connect with in the story which mirrors or enhances our own story, OR gives us something entirely new as it reconnects us to existence. However, what it also does is add upon our story, giving something that wasn’t there before, a thought, a feeling, an aha epiphany that can be added upon our life experience, enhancing it. Art is meant to touch us, recreate us, bring us beyond what we know, and of course, to be ok with admitting that we don’t know. Does it always go back to being ok with not knowing? “Right” or “wrong” comes from a desire to know, to be the one who knows… what if things just are? Really, they ARE!
This in itself, what you are reading is art. Let it move you, let it soothe you, let it incite feelings in you, thoughts in you, and then just let them flow. All that you are reading here is not right, or wrong, it just IS.
Art is. Art brings us into this ISness as it breaks this ISness in the same instance.
Watch this video ~ let it take you on a journey… see if you can remain in the balance, not one side or the other…
“Why should I trust my life to something that isn’t there?” “Learn to listen… cleanse your eyes.”
***Inspired after reading this on ART. I recommend you read and listen if you enjoy this topic*** How the Division of High vs. Low Robs Culture of its Essence.