I want to have things to say. I’m just not sure what that might be.
I guess it has something to do with being heard. Let’s face it, it’s pretty lonely down here when you get a glimpse of the unimaginable scale of time and space.
Immeasurable only hints at the magnitudes involved. And infinity isn’t useful in this case. Given the infinitesimal blimp that is my existence in the universe, I wish to imbue it with meaning. I want to mean something in this unreasonable universe, even if only to me. That self-definition would be much more meaningful, much more valuable to me, than the futile products I create in my day job.
I want to create to define myself. To find myself, my voice, and my message. To gain clarity of thought, clarity of worldview.
Am I only writing for myself?
If so, is it a worthwhile pursuit? But I would only write for myself if I were my only reader. But I don’t want to be only a journaler (i.e. one who journals). I don’t want to keep it to myself. I want to share my writing.
Should writing be about what I want? Or should it be for the reader? If I write only for myself, my writing will be unsatisfactory. If I’m my only reader, I’m not a writer. To be a writer, one needs to write, and to share that writing.
Writing for the reader isn’t all bad. You get to create entertainment, food for thought, subversion, alleviation of suffering–if only for a few hundred words or a few hundred pages. But then you’re selling your artist’s soul, in a way. Writing to please isn’t authentic. Writing, as all art, should be about expressing oneself, not about pleasing the crowds. It should be about observing the world in all its brutish glory and showing it through my irregular colored lenses. It should be a duty of recording the world, like a scribe being a witness to existence, to our shared existence.
Would that be a higher purpose to art, to writing? To present a biased frame of reality? Or is it art for its own sake? No. Sharing art–and writing–alters the beholder’s reality. It touches her empathy, it’s a sharing of the soul. We partake in an osmosis of the minds miles and years apart. We defy thermodynamics. We twist space-time by entangling our minds for an instant. It’s another way to be connected. It’s a manifestation of the interconnectedness of everything, of everyone. While you read my words, our selves meld, along with all the other readers before you. We become a new amalgam stretched through space-time. We connect through the higher dimensions to share something ineffable, meaningless like ourselves yet pregnant with shared humanity in the moment.
And sometimes, I ramble aimlessly, go on a tangent, leave the path I had traced for myself and get lost in the wilds of my thoughts. Sometimes it’s dark. I can only guess at roving shapes in the void just beyond the mind’s eye. Nightmares on the tip of the tongue. Sometimes I find forgotten bits of me. Some are broken, shards of what I’ve been or might have become. Some are whole dreams that had faded to mist, veiled just beyond consciousness, like waking with the feeling of the dream but without the images. Some are wholesome, some vile, some corrosive.
Sometimes, I find a gem. Or the hint of a gem, like the glint of moonlight on a broken mirror.
So. What DO I have to say? Should I even have a message? No. I think I was going at it the wrong way. The ‘message’ of the artist isn’t a statement per se. It is an observation. It is a biased, deformed, colored snapshot of the world. Of a world. An artist is someone having the courage to say, “Here is what I see.”