It can be lonely to dream. Only you can contain that passion and desire, and no one will ever have the ability to climb into your mind and fully fathom what you experience. We can empathize to a limited extent and we can share similar experiences, but when it comes to being you, you are the only person who understands what that is like. This can sometimes feel incredibly isolating, but the uniqueness of our experiences is actually quite beautiful. An exciting feature of art is that it allows us to communicate abstract emotions about the human experience in a visceral and more tangible way than our clustered and tangled minds can express. And through the moments of loneliness, we can find connectedness in our creative pursuits that day-to-day interactions may fail to convey.
In a way, I think the loneliness is necessary. In loneliness we gain a greater appreciation when connecting with others. In loneliness we get bored, and where boredom ends, creativity begins. I am new to Asheville and I am still getting to know people. I am learning what a privilege it is to know people (I mean truly get a glimpse into who they are) and what an inspiration that can be. But knowing few people means spending a lot of time alone. Even as an introvert – which I am – this can be difficult, but in those moments when I am fed up with having nothing to do but to be trapped in a room with my own thoughts, my emotions begin to take shape in a new song, poem or picture.
Our culture today pushes us to be busy and pressures us to constantly consume. Whether that consumption be food, clothing, the next thing in technology or entertainment this often cuts us off from the quiet voice in our mind that has something to say. It’s in that space where we sit in silence and something within us emerges, as it is no longer drowned out by the voices and noises around. It can be difficult to make ourselves available to this. It is uncomfortable. Sometimes it takes being forced into these situations – like moving to a new place or lacking friends you feel safe with. But other times we have to be the ones disciplined enough to suspend ourselves in this space and just “be.” The consumption of things isn’t bad, it’s the constant nature of it in our culture; we need time to process and actually be inspired by what we take in.
After a day of seeing, feeling, experiencing, thinking, our bodies need to unwind. This is just as much for the creative as anyone else. We must be careful not to isolate ourselves from others but seek solitude rather than pushing people away. There is a lot we take in that needs to be given a chance of exploration, pushing through the discomfort of it all. In a way we must let those feelings wash over us and experience them fully coming to the other side of them with a story to tell, may it be a song, a poem or a picture.