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Desperate Uncertainty of the Artist

Creating art is like sending a message in a bottle from a deserted island… Will any fucker ever receive it, and if so, will it be in time for rescue? Creating can feel like a repeated call sent out into the night with no response, echoing forward into time and beyond the limits of our own lifetime. And we make this call completely alone. And this is our work.

As artists, we seek an inner vision that is as pure a reflection of our own experience as possible. Often, this means separating from the “tribe” in order to more clearly distinguish our own inner voice from all of those around us. Once we create from this pure place, the eagerness to now share our personal work with the tribe can be very strong indeed, and can even feel like an emotional need.

We all know the disappointment that results from not getting a response we desire. Sometimes we’re not noticed at all, and sometimes a response is completely wrong. Motherfuckers may attempt to shut down our spirit or diminish our inner light and love. This can be so disorienting that we may even attempt to cater to these lesser tastes, and diminish our inner voice ourselves in hopes of better reception from others!

Truly, we must come to terms with the process of creation as an end in itself, regardless of the existence of feedback. At it’s worst, this can feel like pure terror… crying out in the dark with every fear, hope, heartbreak, and desire that makes up our heart… Speaking with the voice of a person we believe ourselves to be, but are still never sure… Vulnerably suspending ourselves without footing, adrift in the water without a shore upon which to set foot… Wanting to grab onto anything to keep us afloat, and then knowing that we cannot hold onto these anchors, and must let them pass.

But in this process, we come to sense ourselves as we never have before. Completely independent, unbound, unencumbered, weightless, free. Once we are in this place, the voice we use is clear, crisp, from our core, and represents our singular essence. We are ourselves, and that is all that is required of us. The voice we now use to create our work truly reflects our soul.

The challenge is to soothe our sensitive souls through this process of suspension and uncertainty, and yet still encourage ourselves to speak and create. It is faith that allows us to continue with this work: Faith that someday we will achieve a type of homecoming or safe harbor, even if it does not feel that way now. Continue to envision, express, and manifest a world of your own. Eventually, you will arrive upon it’s very shore.

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