Using the Force
“True art is something 'supra-personal', a force which has escaped from the limitations of the personal and has soared beyond the personal concerns of its creator.”
Ever wonder why, from Paleolithic cave drawings, to Vincent Van Gogh's swirling skies, to Ai Weiwei's Lego creations, human beings are compelled to create art? Something inside propels us into action—whether it's arranging the furniture in a room, or items on the surface of a desk, or painting a masterpiece, we are by blood and bone creative. And when we are in the midst of the creative process, we enter another dimension. Time is irrelevant; we don't feel hunger, thirst, or fatigue. It is as though we are taken over by a force of nature that is not our own.
Van Gogh noted that the only time he felt sane was when he had a paintbrush in his hand. For him, the meeting place between mania and depression was where he found his most profoundly productive state. Which is not to say that one has to be insane to produce art—one has only to be free of self-judgment.
I sometimes wonder whether art—visual, musical, or dance—taps into that primitive ancestry of the cave dwellers. To a time perhaps, before humans were so reliant on language to communicate, and instead told stories through paint and drumming, through fire and movement. Personal expression, shared beyond the personal to the communal, and on to the transcendent.
Whatever it is, I hope you find your outlet. It is a place of sacred solitude. A soul expression that soothes away the wrinkles of a troubled world.
In the Spirit,
*Cityscape by Jake Philips