That's me, above, on the day I decided I should probably start sharing my work.
If you're wondering why this day hasn't come until now, I'll try to explain.
Art making and music composition emerged in me by necessity after an early childhood tragedy. In an age when parents believed silence was the best medicine, I needed a way to process my grief and make sense of the world. I quickly discovered that the worst thing that had ever happened to me was inspiring the most beautiful things I'd ever done. So, through creativity, I was turning a negative into a positive; I wasn't just healing, I was blossoming.
It was so wonderful that I wondered how I could be doing it. I began to think of my artistic inclinations as a kind of "gift" and I worried incessantly that it was coming from a source outside of myself. I confess that I fell captive to the notion —delusional, or otherwise— that these "nudges" I was feeling were extremely purposeful and even helping me put together pieces of a puzzle. As a result, my work has been a somewhat desperate attempt to codify those puzzle pieces, an attempt to understand and express whatever it is that is causing them to bubble up in me. To throw an obtuse phrase at you, my art is about what's causing it.
I've often felt that I've merely been taking dictation. And that's a feeling I'm both in awe of and totally embarrassed about. So, I've kept it secret.
But there's more to it.
I get utterly specific nudges to "make this, make that… do it this way, do it that way…" but no nudges whatsoever to show or sell what I've done. In fact, I've gotten nudges to hold it back. That's absurd, I know. Totally whack-a-doodle. It's like force outside of me is strategizing. But I tell you, it's really, really hard to go against what is lifting you up and pushing you along creatively. And if you are being consistently true to your muse, following them exactingly, you don't really have a choice. You just do as you're told.
No, I don't hear voices. It's worse.
If you're thinking this would make a marvelous dirty-laundry memoir about neurosis, you're absolutely right. I've been nudged to create that, too. Not surprisingly, it doesn't come out from under my bed very often. But hopefully one day… It's called, A Twenty-first Century Heresy. Perhaps this blog is like dipping a toe in… a chance to get used to coming out.
For example, in my "Geodes" project —which I am submitting here— I found a handy analogy. Geodes, after all, are quite a bit like you and I. On the outside, they're fairly pedestrian, even mundane. But on the inside —whoa! Inside you'll find a wondrous, uniquely beautiful, multi-facetted universe. It's been hidden away, percolating for millennia, becoming its singular self regardless of whether anyone will ever see it. (Much like my art.) So you have to wonder: Why does this incredible inside exist? What's providing its motivation? What force is guiding it and nudging it along? All I know is… getting to what's inside geodes and us is hard work. You have to bust open whatever exterior is protecting it. That's the work I've been doing with my art. Or, perhaps more likely, the work my art has been doing on me. Ideally it is to celebrate the unseen worlds in all of us.