A Certain Kind of Pain and Art

“There is a particular kind of pain, elation, loneliness, and terror involved in this kind of madness. When you're high it's tremendous. The ideas and feelings are fast and frequent like shooting stars, and you follow them until you find better and brighter ones. Shyness goes, the right words and gestures are suddenly there, the power to captivate others a felt certainty. There are interests found in uninteresting people. Sensuality is pervasive and the desire to seduce and be seduced irresistible. Feelings of ease, intensity, power, well-being, financial omnipotence, and euphoria pervade one's marrow. But, somewhere, this changes. The fast ideas are far too fast, and there are far too many; overwhelming confusion replaces clarity. Memory goes. Humor and absorption on friends' faces are replaced by fear and concern. Everything previously moving with the grain is now against-- you are irritable, angry, frightened, uncontrollable, and enmeshed totally in the blackest caves of the mind. You never knew those caves were there. It will never end, for madness carves its own reality.” ― An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness

I think way too much...
- Art, of any kind, for me has been salvation. I'm constantly looking for some truth and answers which just leads to more questions, but maybe the answer is that there isn’t an answer. Like the quote "true knowledge is knowing that you know nothing"

- Art just tells us what's wrong with the world. Some of us are not content with the status quo. We can feel, or we just know, something is wrong in this world, it's sick, we're sick. And we sense it deep in our bones, in our heart, and it bothers us.

- This discontent leads to a hatred of cliches and predictable bullshit. They aren't enough to describe the situation we're in, it's like throwing a steak to a lion in the zoo at the same time every day versus that lion using what comes naturally to them to hunt its food in the wild because it has to, it doesn't have a choice. It's comfortable imprisonment, like a type of Stockholm syndrome.

- We need something real, viceral, something that sparks our imagination and addresses unresolved conflicts and let's us break free even if it's just for a moment. Let's face it, in the end, life as a whole is pretty unfulfilling in these times we live in. 2 steps forward, 3 steps back wondering if you're waiting for something that doesn't exist.

- True art touches on that feeling and when you create art that doesn’t acknowledge this fact, people can sense it and they can tell when you’re being fake. It feels too clean, too literal and like "hallmark-ish propaganda" or something.
- Our souls thirst for more than that, good art is messy and never perfect. Or it is perfect in its imperfection. We want blunt, broken, and beautiful.. real, raw, and uncut.

"Better to be slapped by the truth than to be kissed by a lie"

- Sure, everyone would love to be rich and have a bunch shit in a big house full of more pointless shit, but we know it comes at a cost. And when you don’t illustrate that cost with sacrifice and toil, we don’t believe the story. Part of what makes Eminem an artist instead of a typical ridiculous "rapper" is his ability to do that. Money and possessions don't fill the void, consumerism is like a drug to some people and they chase that insatiable demon to the point of ruin.

- Just as creation came from chaos and babies are born in a puddle of blood and shit, art emerges from the pain of a broken world, or soul, or both. If it doesn’t break your heart or cause you to ache a little, then it’s not art.

"Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable"

- There is an underlying sadness in all art, like that wordpress article I did a week or so back, a melancholy we feel when we face true beauty. It goes hand in hand. It’s that ache, that longing, that we can’t quite describe when we witness something truly wonderful. Because most of the time deep down we know it doesn't exist. Or like those Whitney Houston or Adele songs that resonate with everyone, whether they admit it or not, and some more than others, but we all know that pain. That dagger in the chest. It's something that person on this big rock shares and knows, it's a stranger to no one.

- I think the reason that this sadness, emptiness, and brokenness we feel and see in art is so universal, is because humanity is not whole. Again, something is wrong with the world and we can’t figure it out, much less figure out how to fix it.

- You could say this life is just a beautiful mess. Beautiful and broken with a void we don't know how to fill.
- Some people are blissfully living in a bubble with their iphones, tweeting about the kardashians and what new shit they saw a celebrity wear on tv that they want to buy now, and if you don't believe people worship celebrities enough to let it sway their decisions on what they buy, you know that Matthew Mconauhey commercial where he's driving and talking to himself? Sales of Lincoln CARS went up 25% so we're not just talkin J.Lo's perfume or whatever.

- And I'm not talkin shit, to each their own, it's just a fact.
For some though, who are really listening with an honestly open mind, this is a truth that hits home somewhere and all art isn't necessarily sad or meant to make you sad, but instead it's someone else's sadness and emotion spilled out in front of whoever will take the time to look at it which is a beautiful thing, a therapeutic thing.

- And something else that makes art amazing to me is the interpretation of it, how 2 people can look at or read that exact same thing, the artist's emotions, and take away 2 totally different things. That's beautiful to me, your interpretation is yours, your beauty is yours. No one can take that or tell you what's beautiful to you unless you let them.

- Honest art moves us closer to the truth than anything in these days. And those who are willing to be honest and vulnerable are the voices with something to say. If you just start writing without a direction, let your emotions come out, or paint, sing, whatever. You might surprise yourself with what you end up with.

"Writing is easy. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed" - Ernest Hemingway

- Embrace the fact that you are a beautifully chaotic work in progress, still fragmented at the core. Someone will interpret everything about you as a masterpiece. I'm a lot better at giving advice than taking it, but if someone finds this rambling helpful I can take a little joy in that at least. I hope this compels someone to write or create something awesome, awesome to them and they feel better after. Plus, you never know how someone else might interpret what you created and maybe compels them to do the same, and so on and so forth.

- Don't get lost in the dark, but don't be afraid of it either. Embrace it because it's not going anywhere and constantly fighting it will wear you out, trust me.

“I allowed myself to suffer how jarringly destructive the present feels and how fragile the past.” ― My Name Is Memory


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