Wednesday, August 6, 2008

looking at feelings

I read somewhere that most artists and writers are looking at their feelings. That most story-telling involves showing others our human-ness through sharing our feelings about things.
Thinking is all well and good, but the realm of the thinkers does not belong to the poets and artists of the world.
I leave the thinking to the doctors and accountants.
I guess that shows in my work in my journal.
I am examining my own feelings and trying to understand them. Lots of people pay a therapist for this, but I find the process of making art and writing on the collages does it for me much better (and so much cheaper!)
"The unexamined life is not worth living" was a quote that got my attention as a kid, and I guess I have lived with that always in the background of my psyche.
The conflict for me, is that sometimes it feels self-involved, egocentric, or selfish to focus so much on my own feelings.
and that just might be the dilemma of artists and creators through time.
I think people who knew Vincent Van Gogh probably did think he was way too absorbed in his own problems.
But by working out his own issues, look at the paintings the world received.
What a gift.
So I try to remember that having and sharing this struggle is worthwhile.
That our own inner struggles are meaningful and worth spending time on, and that sharing this path will help someone somehow along their own way.
Life is short.
It comes and goes like a breath of mist on the grass.
and I want my one short time here to be lived with intention and meaning (until the next go 'round and I get to come back as something else!)

"I am a greedy, selfish bastard. I want the fact that I existed to mean something." --Harry Chapin


  1. I had a history teacher in high school who intimidated the heck out of me, to the point where I would never volunteer an answer or contribute anything in class. So, why would I ask him to inscribe my yearbook, yet I did. He wrote another version of that quote: "Thoughts that go unshared are worth nothing." While he was using it to "inspire" me to speak up, the adult me interprets it that what you (or any of us) do, by sharing you/our thoughts and feelings, is not selfish and self-absorbed, but valuable and beneficial to those with whom we share them, whether our life experiences are similar or different.

    Just a thought I felt comfortable enough to share. :)


  2. I totally agree with what you've said about seeking your own therapy thru art and creativity.Your art is absolutely stunning by the way.

  3. oh thank you, sharing is so important, and when our work speaks to someone, it is just a magnificent bonus!

  4. Lovely blog, Em. Your book looks fabulous. I like what you say. Leave the thinking to doctors...I am just realizing how to finally feel more and get in touch with what I REALLY feel, not should feel.

  5. crows look at their feelings and think...

    love the way you create your artworks... create yourself...

    me too knew myself in this way... i wrote and got freed and read them and tried to see what was hidden in them... and was freed more...
    yes it IS the best therapy..

    this artwork is marvelous...