“And stern to the haughty, but humble to thee,
This soul in its bitterest blackness shall be.” ~ Lord Byron
The theme of many blog posts this week seems to be the suffering of the artist. 🙂 I’ve written on this before, wondering aloud (on the page) “Must there be suffering?!” I like to think that there shouldn’t be.
But, let’s be real.
Does anyone “become” an artist because they have a so-called normal experience of the world? Those quotes are easily explained by my own belief that one does not become an artist: it’s intrinsic to your identity.
Being an artist, I think, means experiencing reality through a different lens. Whether the lens is rose-colored or not, to be different is to suffer. Whether the suffering is the small insult of childhood (was anyone else the target for arm-breaking in Red Rover?), or the square-peg-in-a-round-hole of the awkward twenties, there is suffering. But sometimes, that suffering is large. It sucks the air out of the room entirely, and comes back to visit, again and again, as a monstrous elephant that likes to perch on your chest while you chase sleep through anxiety. Sometimes it manifests in a very real disease, ripped out of every hard kernel of darkness inside you.
Suffering exists. That is not to say that we shouldn’t pursue health and healing at every given opportunity. Create the opportunity if that is what it takes. But don’t deny the journey.
Write the story. Speak the raw truth. Let the chips fall.
Because acceptance of the wounds left by that suffering is where freedom begins.
Blessings to you all.