Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Making art is different. Vastly. It's almost the opposite of writing. Art is the acknowledgment of things just beyond my periphery, intimidating, disquieting things, massive things that could never bow in obeisance. Looking at these things full on is as... dare I say? yes, I do... as dangerous (and frightening) as trying to kill a charging rhinoceros with a spork.
There comes a time in the day when everything goes silent. Words have been written. Chores (or at least the internal nagging to do them) have been put to rest. Details have been attended to. Then comes the quiet, and in that quiet the Muses whisper in irrefutably seductive tones. Everything else narrows to the tiniest pin point. It's not focus, not really. It's allowing. No. That's not right. How can you allow something that you can't say no to in the first place? It's acquiescing - granting admittance to things somewhat feared and revered just before they break down the doors.
I say all that as if it is a horrible thing. It isn't, except that in some ways it is, because it is always a complete unknown. What begins as an idea, a small dot of color, segues and morphs into something terrifically different than what I thought was charging the gates. At the end comes an exhilarated exhaustion, a gentle closing of the gates of which I seem to be the keeper. With it comes a shaky knowledge that I've somehow done what's right, what's right for me, at least.
Writing is about finding myself. Art is about losing myself.
Writing is about taming. Art is about loosing the wild beast.
You might be asking, "Which do you prefer?" I don't know that I could have (or handle) one without the other. But if pressed to choose between the two - may all the gods, muses, and universal gewgaws forbid - I would choose art.
I would choose art for no other reason than that I'm addicted to the rush. That and it requires little, if any, explanation. Art speaks its own language and is individually translated. I want my words understood, desperately so most of the time. But my art... it stands alone and says what it will. Even if it's misunderstood, there it still stands, as if it wasn't really my voice to begin with. As if it is a rhinoceros, preparing to charge, staring down a young lass who is armed only with a spork.
"Likewise be all manner of beasts, when they be brought into the field and cried havoc, then every man to take his part."
~Grose, History of the English Army
And so, the shaking, but defiant girl musters everything within her and hollers, "Havoc!"
Posted by Barb Black at 10:47:00 AM