Do you ever think about all the images which bombard your mind on a daily basis?
The images don’t have to be actual photographs, they can be words which conjure up pictures, or a snapshot which your eyes or another of your senses (or a couple or all of them together) take and translate into the language of the mind.
If your mind doesn’t talk in images, I apologise for assuming that it does, we tend to think that others do what we do even when we know they don’t always do that.
(my window just screamed because a strong gust touched it… do your windows do that?)
(what if tension is who you are and relaxation is who you think you should be?)
My mind communicates in images…
if you were to eavesdrop on an internal conversation it would look like…
what you see when you’re watching TV with someone else, they’ve got the remote and they’re channel hopping…
one of those music videos which are a series of rapidly flashing clips…
those mind-machines in films used to torture or brainwash…
(you can see-hear my mind flitting from image to image in my writing)
(this is what my mind looks like in song lyrics, at any given moment there are associations flashing across it, all tethered together by a concept which is heard in the chorus)
and therefore images communicate with me.
Those pictures speaking a thousand words… yep… but what to make of the words…?
Words are a form of communication which I find much harder to understand and to use to communicate
(yes, I know I use them and often use a lot of them… maybe what comes next will explain that…)
as trying to turn the images within into words outside… has been a challenge throughout my life.
There’s an image in my mind’s eye which has been consistent since I first started to talk to other people (and which flashes across the inner screen every time I talk with people), and that is of another person’s face with muscles tensed in perplexity while their eyes go from focused to unfocused, sometimes glazing over as though trying to protect themselves from incoming shrapnel…
I did for awhile wonder if I was talking in the same language as (I thought I was) those around me because other people never seemed to understand me…
maybe I was talking backwards, that could be a possibility since I sometimes wrote backwards…
(there is no such thing as a pointless talent – if it exists then it has a point… somewhere which we can’t always see… I can’t see the point in the talent some people have for telling others that their talents are pointless…
oh, wait, mental news flash, my mind has just shown me an image of a man in a raincoat who is naked underneath… how do I know he is naked underneath that raincoat, and is he wearing stilettos? Of course he’s not wearing stilettos, he’s a man and he’s practical and knows that the heels would get caught in the grating of the vent he is standing over… he does seem to be wearing a door knocker, should we knock it and see what door it opens… into a psyche that…
okay, I really didn’t want to go there, but now that I’m here…)
I’ll never forget that time when I spent what felt like hours but was probably only minutes trying to decide which way the letters went when writing, and I was certain that I chose the right direction, but instead I went left…
which would have been fine if I had been writing in a language that goes left instead of right… but if I had I’d have still gone the wrong way.
I was about five years old, probably older (my sense of time is about as accurate as my sense of direction), writing a dedication to my parents on a painting I’d created for them… they noticed the backwards-ness of what I’d done and never let me forget it, so I suppose I was being a true artist in that moment, leaving a legendary legacy… of an ordinary sort.
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”
― Pablo Picasso
Does that make any sense? – became a regular additive on the end of anything I said to other people…
I didn’t need to use it when talking with myself because…
what is nonsense to others…
usually makes sense to us as we can follow our own train of thought in whatever form it is in…
like with our dreams,
even when they seem like random ridiculousness to us,
they still have a thread running through them sewing them together into the fabric of us…
we know what they’re saying even when we don’t.
But try to describe your dream to someone else and… the seams tear, the fabric rips, threads unravel… shreds and patches float around in the air, drifting off like the tune of a wandering minstrel…
all you have left is a tum-te-tum… a scrap of a lyric which you’re not sure you heard correctly.
(Louie Louie wolo canno wecatcho…)
What is ordinary for us may not be ordinary for others,
they may see our ordinary as extraordinary,
and what is ordinary for them may be extraordinary for us…
This happens for me all the time with other people,
they’re all busy doing the ‘I’m so ordinary’ routine which we all tend to do with others…
(except for narcissists… unless they’re doing it to make sure they are doing the ‘ordinary’ thing which will make them even more extraordinary for others… you know, the humble person who is not humble at all but does humble to jumble your impression of them… something like that… my mind is rushing this bit because it doesn’t want to discuss narcissists atm – and by atm I mean ‘at the mo’ and not… omg can you imagine… sorry, I just looked up (I always have to look things up even when I know them because I might not know what I think I know and… stuff like that…) the exact meaning of atm – the cash machine one – and it stands for ‘automatic teller machine’ which suddenly struck me as being something that a narcissist is… as well as isn’t… they automatically tell you stuff but don’t tell you anything at all and…
shut up please I’m trying to stay cohesive… as much as is possible for this messy old human).
One of the things which is extraordinary for me at this time is how often I get told by others that they love what I am doing here… on this blog, this tiny patch on the giant patchwork quilt that is the world wide web.
I have received so many amazing compliments in the comments of this blog about what I share here…
if I was the sort of person who expressed themselves through tears (I was taught not to do that and that teaching stuck like wonderglue), I would cry… tears of immense joy!
Thank you for sharing yourselves with me that way…
words fail to capture the image within…
images even fail to capture it…
(this seems to express a small portion of it… or maybe it just occurred to me that a mirror like this would be great in the hallway that I’m slowly demolishing to eventually re… molish?… my mind is distracting me from the intense… maybe or maybe not… it… I… let’s move on shall we…)
I’d have to tell you my whole life story,
(which I’m not sure I could do for myself…)
and you’d have to know and understand it from the inside out,
(which I’m not sure I do myself…)
from my perspective,
“If things do not turn out as we wish, we should wish for them as they turn out.”
each angle from which I’ve seen and experienced it.
every version of it which exists within me,
(that sounds… like something which could be boring…)
as there are multiple streams,
as there are multiple sides of who we are…
(multipass…. The Fifth Element reference… )
and each side has a slightly varied take on it…
on the performance of our lives…
(I sometimes feel like the blue lady when I talk to people… they may feel that way too, about me, about themselves… I used to play a game as a child with my cousins called The Blue Ladies… no way to explain what it was about, not sure we knew what it was about but it was fun… and this is sometimes what goes on in front and behind the scenes when I write a post… alien chaos in the mind of human)
if we’re in a good mood then our past looks different to us than when we’re in a bad mood, and we tell a different version of the then based on the now…
if we’re feeling repressed, then everyone in our lives repressed and represses us somehow…
if we’re feeling free, then no one has ever been able to contain us,
and if they tried then they failed
or inspired us to cause them to fail because they wanted us to fail by trying to stop us, by trying to gain a win for themselves through someone else’s (our) failure which they had to interfere with to make it happen…
or something like that.
if we’re feeling Zen then…
(the only Zen I’d be looking for at the top of a mountain would be that of an oxygen tank (after I’ve had a ciggie break – and don’t lecture me about it, I climbed a mountain ffs!) or a sleeping bag… eff it I’ll sleep anywhere after that climb! But what about enjoying the view!?! The view is awesome now let me get some shut-eye! But you achieved something… maybe but everything hurts!)
Recently I asked you – what would you like for me to write about?
and you answered by asking me about the source of my artistry…
your reply caused me many quandaries,
the main one being that I don’t consider myself to be artistic…
but you do and that…
wow, thank you!
(this is artistry to me… )
What I do and share here is…
isn’t artistry to me…
basically it’s opening the doors of my mind and letting you in or letting it/me out…
The computer, the internet… they’re somehow perfect for expressing what is going on inside of me. The thoughts, the images which flash across my inner screen in their varied forms… they’re suddenly easy to translate using this medium… or at least it feels that way to me…
I can share myself as I am…
and I can’t see the faces of those who happen upon what I say, so…
I can only imagine… and I like to imagine you as beaming beacons of your own light and dark…
which is extraordinary to me even if you see it is ordinary because, we always see what is us and ours that way…
as for me…
someone let me loose, left me unattended and… I ran and still run amok, doing stuff often without thinking about it even though it is all thinking… sort of…
(according to humans forgiving requires the ingredient known as forgetting for it to be edible enough for Alice to eat it… I’m not Alice… and I’ve tasted sand, it was tastier than imagined…and strangely rather moreish…)
I did grow up in a house of art…
art was a daily bread…
(bread… hmmm mmmm…)
some of it artificial…
some was… genuine…?
(fake is real too when you think about it…)
all of it was the splurging of personal paint on a life canvas of others…
natural artistry both ordinary and extraordinary… depending on how you look at it…
who splashed me with their colours…
(it’s in the pricks, stings, pokes and despair… and the weird faces we make…)
Their colours became a part of mine…
as yours do for me too…
and maybe mine do for you too…
Is my artistry mine or yours?
Is what you see when you look at me and what I do really me and what I do… or is it you, the images in your mind projected on the screen of me?
Am I the artistic one or are you?
(am I deflecting or… ?)
All of us have different ways to see life. You seem to be very visual, when you see all in pictures.
I’m very auditive and hear and smell, whatever I see and explore.
It’s fascinating and insightful to experience the way others absorb and view life, it adds so much more to the panorama, although sometimes it can be hard to capture and share but it’s always worth the effort. 🙂
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Ursula, i am sorry, I have to disagree.I remember the old polemics concering Ns claiming to be special vs ordinary healthy people.
Being an artist is not something common like breathing or walking. What you do is art, end of story. Your attitude reminds me too much of myself and i think that in both (nut) cases there is still Something to sort out as we cannot accept what we are, especially when it’s a positive feature of ourselves.i do understand compliments are hard to cash in, but at least be objective and recognize the amount of fine work you have done, your developed and articulate poetics, i could write a PhD thesis on you ( there are so many so to say “artists” who are just hollow and commercial). It took me 45 years to utter the word “intellectual” about myself and I have been spending many hours stuck but unable to accept what flows out of myself.
precisely being an artist is not about what you say but how you say it, your vision, your view, crafted within your choice of words, is art.
Again, I think this attitude is due to our past, where our view was always wrong and compliments were insults in disguise. Ti parlo con il cuore, come se ti conoscessi davvero.xxx
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You know I love an intelligent and hearty disagreement, it’s food for thought and grist to the thinking mill 🙂
You’re right that the way I look at being artistic is influenced by the past. The idea and label of ‘artist’ is something that has too many burdensome connotations that weigh too heavily and make doing anything creative a chore. For me it’s the quickest way to kill the buzz of being creative, end up blocked and in ego hell. It’s not just something which came from my parents themselves, or the art circles in which they lived and worked and the others who populated it (lots of giant egos which are damaged and do a lot of damage), but also the general societal view of such things and how that affects things from the inside and out.
I have an internal video clip of a conversation I once had with an art student which sums things up for me in a way:
I was working in a gallery at the time and this bike messenger delivered a package. This guy decided to share his opinion about the art in the gallery, which wasn’t complimentary, according to him everything was crap, in fact all artists who had ever lived were crap.
I think I may have given him an eye roll – I was in my late teens, so the eye roll is a preferred language, and I’d heard this kind of opinion from art students before and I figured that’s what he was – which he was. My eye roll or whatever reaction I had made him even more loquacious than he had been previously because he had to quantify his view as being more than just an opinion as he wasn’t just a bike messenger but an artist, albeit a student but he wasn’t just a student like other art students (who according to him were wasting their time being art students) he was the next big genius of the art world (the art world just didn’t know it yet and was foolish for not knowing it).
I had no idea what his art was like as he did not have anything to show me (this was before the internet as we know it, so no mobile phone or quick access to an online portfolio, etc), so maybe he was the greatest artist ever here to blow all our minds with the only art which wasn’t crap.
What struck me the most about him, and which may have caused me to remember this and make it an internal video clip, was that he was one of the most negative and angriest artists I’d ever met. And I’d met loads, my father was one, so was my mother, and most of their artist friends were that way. But unlike the others he hadn’t had to deal with what usually causes artists to become that way – the art business. He admitted, after I asked, that he’d never shown his work to anyone in the art business, his excuse was that the art world wasn’t ready to handle his work yet.
I remember feeling both really pissed off at him and his attitude but also I felt this intense sadness because… many reasons but mostly his attitude reflected an undercurrent which permeated the art world. This desire to kill what creates… to supplant the heart with the mind’s version of it. Something like that. This guy could not allow himself to like anything anyone else created as it threatened his own creations… but he really couldn’t afford to allow those to live either because he’d set them up for a very big fall.
I saw a similar dynamic over and over again in that world, and it reflected something in the world within… it’s just taken me ages to figure out what that piece of the puzzle was about and how to work and live with it, with what it means for me.
I just want to do what I do and not put a label on it… because that’s part of what I do. If that makes sense 😉
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Well that was really ‘narcisstic’ of him! 🙂
Gosh you both are making so much sense… It’s just a treasure all that is written here including this beautiful people commenting on your posts. I had exact thoughts about what you just wrote about the artist world and all that entitlement or the idea of being special…mostly mega egos… I like simplicity I like sensitivity mixed with strength, a bit of a shyness… On the other hand I am sick and tired of complicated artist personas, or one that feed on misery or ones that live exclusively through their limited self obsession and similars… Let’s just have look at Mozart… He was brilliant, crazy, lost and hysterical child all his life… But it was all in order… To me he was a hysteria ’caused by too much perfection and beauty that this world limited for him… It’s like high voltage sounds that wanted to destroy him in all its beauty and they did… It wasn’t the shadow of his father is what I think… He is a perfect example of someone who got it all perfectly right and being killed by a beauty…no drama in his work… Pure admiration and emotions bright as a sun… Yet short life and paranoia… Art is a demon… It’s not a gift… Or it is a gift in a shape of demon… Somehow I wanna be gone by that demon as well… It’s a very exclusive one 🙂
Thank you 🙂
I love the perspective you’ve shared! And you’re right in the heart of the artist conundrum as you’re a musician… hmmm, I’d never thought of it before but of course the word musician comes from ‘muse’. So many of the stories about an artist and their muse tend to be tragic in some way, perhaps because the muse is an immortal being who is trying to express creativity through a mortal. If it were up to the muse the artist would never sleep, eat or ever take a break, but would be driven by inspiration to keep creating 24/7, giving all of themselves up to the task they’ve been given.
Speaking of Mozart, I’ve been watching Mozart in the Jungle which is a TV series (based on a book written by a musician) about the behind the scenes of an orchestra. There is a lot of juxtasposing in it of the business and the creative side. Not dissimilar to what was shown in the film Amadeus, especially in the rivalry between Salieri and Mozart. The film used a lot of creative license in its portrayal of their relationship, and I really enjoyed what they did. I recall being deeply affected by it, particularly Salieri’s side of the story, his agony of not being able to create as Mozart did, and his fury at Mozart for having such a natural talent which Salieri thought Mozart did not appreciate.
One of the ‘demonic’ sides of the arts is the ‘possession’ which it inspires, the accompanying desire to possess works of art and sometimes the artist themselves in an attempt to bottle raw talent. It’s a drive to capture the muse, but the muse doesn’t want to be captured that way.
Thank you for sharing much nectar for thought 🙂
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i understand you have experienced it from the outside and yes, it can be quite appalling.
When i was a student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, the behavioural patterns of the so called artists would have made a shrink happy: corporate, showy, hollow, angry, thoughful on forms and not on contents, absolutely narcissistic. Also having both parents artist can be hard to deal with.
i never bolonged to any club, society, corporate association or group, i am a solitary thinker and when i question myself about art and being an artist it’s the essence i am after and the effect of producing something, but all this commercial hassle is not what I am interested in. A bit out of the world.
To me being an artist is touching the human being at the core, stirring something.yesterday i was so stuck, and after reading and writing to you I have been able to write. It’s cathartic, and it’s not an exterior label, but an inner state of mind. thank you for all this.xxx
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Ha! I almost went to art school in Florence!
I like your view of what being an artist is, that’s a profound vision, and I think that those who are compelled to create see it in a similar way. But as with everything, especially once it becomes popular and profitable, which being an artist did and has kept growing from there, the meaning of it changes.
You’re one of those who is born to create, the muse is in your blood ❤
I can’t believe it, so many similarities:))
All the authentic artists i have met had a hard life, it’s difficuclt to live on something that is loyal to what you are and not to the main trend.
You wrote an interesting word, “to be compelled”.These days i am so anguished that i had to, i was complelled to write to exist, it’s like a drive.It gives sense and meaning to the day, even if it’s nothing remarkable or perfect. Another thing which makes me feel alive, is when my suffering can help someone else, then i think it was worth it, to give emotional support to someone who is going through a difficult moment, doubting about themselves and lving in angst.A sort of creative outlet of such a dark family story.
Thank you for your last sentence, I am impressed. At least, there is something in me ( my father used to to think of me as an empty person).
You are very inspiring.xxx
Mille grazie 🙂 It’s strange how often our life paths cross!
Opening the doors of your mind is artistic. 🙂 You are very, very talented, Ursula. Allow that. 🙂
And yes, my windows do scream sometimes. They’re like doors that way. 🙂
Thank you 🙂
I really enjoy being creative, for a long time I didn’t do very much with it to the point where I didn’t think I had a creative bone in my body, then a hole appeared in the dam and it started flooding out. But I do have a mental block when it comes to labeling it as something more than what I think it is and accepting how others may see it. I know I’m being a bit of a twat about this. It’s a knotty old block… I kind of love it for being that way as it is a puzzle to solve and I adore solving puzzles or at least trying to solve them 😉
I went to an applied arts school, a way to run away from a music school – mother’s wish- never thought of myself as being creative, but wanted to write, only didn’t know what about. Later studied art history – and theory! – but wanted to know the psychology of it. Couldn’t find common language neither with artists nor with intellectuals. Wrote poems as a way to deal with unrequited love, but would never think of them as poetry or art. Made my own clothes, but didn’t become a designer. Feeling and thinking are different ways of perceiving and being in the world, as is intuition and senses…..learned that from good books, which keep helping me to understand myself, people and life, because in the end, or in my later years I’ve come to realize that what I want is to understand the art of life itself……to appreciate the beauty of its puzzle, yes. 🙂
I love that idea of the art of life! 🙂
When you think about it being creative is something natural to all of us in our own ways – thinking is creation as we often think things into being. And we’re always creating but what we create may not be viewed as fitting in with the ‘creativity’ label.
When you ran away from living out your mother’s wish for you, you did it creatively. She tried to make you wear an outfit which didn’t fit – so in essence you were rejecting the clothes she made for you to make your own.
It all comes together in the bigger picture of all the threads of our story sewn together, but seeing the bigger picture of our lives, experiences, experiments and such is something we tend to only be able to do later in life when we’ve found a vantage point from which to do and aren’t so caught up in one piece of it or another.
Thank you very much for sharing that 🙂
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