Naked and Okay
What a week it’s been.
I’ve been having these crazy dreams. They are all different, but with a common theme. Futility. Not being able to get where I want to go because my feet are too heavy. Trying desperately to write something over and over again, but each time it being in some unrecognizable language and totally indecipherable. I believe that the question in my head that has been plaguing me all week and prompting these dreams is: “Why do I feel the need to share my art…….and if I had no audience, would I still create?”
My brain hurts and my heart is raw. This question is unrelenting.
I sense that I always create with an intention of being seen or read or heard. I make quite a lot of art. It is my full time job, my passion and a way of life….so it just feels like I am doing A LOT of sharing all of the time. Maybe that’s perfectly fine and normal, but I’m not certain. Or maybe it’s strange. Maybe I’M strange! I’m self conscious and worry about what people might think. Do I seem like an attention whore or a show-off? Do I look insecure and like I’m looking for validation, or encouragement? But fuck. What am I, really? And why do I care so damned much?
I’m trying to be super honest with myself and answer these questions, but it’s sort of murky territory.
Well first, would I continue to create if I had no audience? No….I don’t think I would. It’s not that it would seem pointless, but rather incomplete. Sharing my work gives me a sense of closure that seems integral to the creative process. Could it be that it’s just in my nature to share? Or maybe it’s just HUMAN nature. People long for connection and what better way to connect with others than to open up and share these creative, uniquely human aspects ourselves.
When I create a sculpture or a piece of jewellery, the object is for others to have, or wear and enjoy. The art is tangible and sharing, to me, seems like a no-brainer. The end result is separate from me in that when a piece sells it’s no longer mine. I let it go and detach from it, so I usually don’t second guess sharing my silver work. Also, I can easily hide behind the fact that it is my livelihood, so it’s essential that I share it. My issue mostly has to do with my writing. It is this: when I write in the way that I do……openly and honestly in the form of blog posts and poetry…..well, there is nothing to hide behind. It can’t be worn or used. And it’s not for sale. Is it self indulgent? Is that a bad thing?
My writing is the most vulnerable thing in the world to me, and I’ve been doing a lot of it lately. It feels like when I share it I am taking off ALL of my armour and essentially standing naked in front of anyone who happens to look. Not only that, on top of putting myself out there I’m actually saying, “Here I am. Please look.”
Oh my God…..Am I an exhibitionist?!!
I wonder what on Earth I’m doing this for. My poems and blog posts are my heart songs – my innermost thoughts and feelings. They come from a very pure and honest place and I feel SO compelled to share them. As soon as I do, though, I feel this sense of shame…like they’ve lost their purity somehow. I don’t know whether this is actually true or whether there may be something false underlying the feeling, but I’m trying to get to the bottom of it.
It follows that if emotions are guideposts, I’m either travelling in the wrong direction or I have some healing to do around my sharing of art.
Here I go again, putting myself out there for all to see. Being vulnerable and sharing my “private” stuff again. What am I asking for? Do I want somebody to say, “Wow…you are good! You are very talented and skilled!” Well, that feels kind of nice, but also a little bit icky. Embarrassing, actually. I honestly don’t think I am fishing for compliments most of the time, although it can be validating on some level. I sense that I’m doing it more for a shared experience, and to hear the words, “Thank you…I recognized myself in this. This spoke to me. This made me feel something deep or powerful or meaningful.”
I think that moments such as these help take away that sense of loneliness that is at the very core of our human condition, even if for a short time. That is a gift for each of us. We are each our own island, but we share the same ocean. Maybe those moments help us to remember the ocean. Perhaps I am frequently in touch with the loneliest parts of myself and am looking for permission to share them with all of you. Maybe I just really want somebody to tell me, “Hey….you know what? I feel that, too. You aren’t alone.” Or maybe, most importantly, I want somebody to say, “Cindy……You are ok.”
Maybe we all want that connection. Maybe we all need reassurance that we are ok, sometimes. And especially in our most naked of moments.
I’m gonna sit with that for awhile and see how it fits.