Sunday, May 10, 2009
Creative Expression: The Bridge Between Two Worlds
The artist lives in two worlds simultaneously. The external or outer world, the skeletal framework of his life, with which he engages to work and play and practically relate to those around him. Less visible, but perhaps more potent, is the existence of his inner world, the womb of creativity, where he perceives and listens with different eyes and ears and lives a parallel existence within this private space.
How different these two worlds are! And how separate they can feel from one another. One deals with tangible realities, the other with invisible realities. One deals with the here and now, the other is musing on past, present and future all at once and framing a view through which to understand them. One is relatable and accessible, the other is difficult to capture and contain in a way that can be shared meaningfully… and yet, what is the job of the artist if it is not to capture something of those invisible realities and make them known to the outer world?
Now, you say, the artist does not have the monopoly on the private musings of an inner world. Naturally. Point taken. Invariably though, the artistic temperament seems to feel the keenest divide between the worlds, to have the most vivid experiential dichotomy between the two, and to have the greatest need to reconcile them. Enter creative expression.
When the world inside your head feels more real to you than the world outside your front door, the action of creating something that can be expressed, seen or heard produces sharp relief. Presenting your inner interpretation of the world you experience seems to produce a bridge that links your two worlds together. When a melody comes up from inside of you and sings to your surroundings, when lyrics are penned that make known a thought that was previously known only to you the ripple effect is profound.
The very act of creative expression in this context is an intersection or apex of your dual realities. It gives you, the thinker, the reflective one the chance to be known, to relieve the inner loneliness that comes from flowing in a river with a deeper current than most. It gives the opportunity for the world around you to interact with your inner world, to be given a back-stage pass if you like to the theatre of your heart. There is great joy in being known, especially in giving glimpses to such a core dimension of you.
Not only is there the relief of reconciliation and the joy of making yourself known however, but also there is the thrill that comes from presenting something valuable to those around you. To serve others is to be enriched. To allow others to perceive something newly by seeing through your eyes is to contribute greatly to the world. To enable them the vicarious relief of getting something said that is so hard to put into words is no small service.
And so it seems the bridge of creative expression is a two way street, a servant that serves two masters by all at once providing the artist a way out, and others a way in. And in doing so, both reflecting and participating in the Divine.