We as Human beings come in many shapes and forums, many talents, skill-sets, and a multifaceted mindset collectively filled with all the tools it takes to build a culture that sustains and celebrates all that is alive; or once was – and on another level still is. Some of us identify as Artists.
We cannot afford to waste these human gifts – some in the midst of fading in to “the nothing” through lack of use. We urgently need to learn how to nurture the creative nature; not be consumptive of it. This Balance of magic and science, of masculine and feminine, of Darkness and Light; this will save us from oblivion.
Creatives are at an all time high risk for mental illness; in particular Depression (I can vouch for that personally) and according to Psychologists it -at least partially- stems from “a problem with filtering or gating the many stimuli that flow into the brain.” For this reason some Writers, Artists, and Musicians craft their lives in order to be isolated from human contact for prolonged periods of time.
But what if there were people taught and put in to the esteemed position of nurturing those wandering in their art’s pilgrimage?
Not seeing them with pity as the “Mentally Ill” but with respect as the Mentally Courageous.
What if it didn’t have to be done alone? What if it was never supposed to be that way to begin with?
Depression is never an sudden onset – rather with a molasses approach so slow that it tends to sneak up on us; as it “it just suddenly happened”. Depression rather is a process that begins with a denying or refusing to acknowledge painful and difficult feelings; laced with the stigma of weakness we are taught to sink or swim. Depression is usually triggered by a significant trauma; whether self aware or not, or a reoccurring trauma. Of which often leaves us feeling “different”, “Lonely”, “weird” (lets face it If being creative means being “odd” to some extent) or as a whole “UNSEEN”.
Through this we develop defence mechanisms and “walls” that keep us from fully expressing and processing our grief, and as such from fully stepping in to ourselves because we -and our gifts- are not outright held and honoured by a community. Sure there are often spikes of praise and admiration – but those don’t always lead to worthiness and social standing – beyond plastic transient celebrity status. We become terminally independent and gravely reluctant to trust anyone (even those we claim to and desire desperately to trust). As such this sense of worthiness ebbs and flows far too much to build credence or a solid foundation underneath it. So it shatters, again and again.
These consistencies in denying painful and difficult feelings lead to a significant struggle in being able to identify pleasant and positive feelings; or the deep sorrow that is needed to work through our shadows. And then a struggle to feel them at all.
So comes the “dead inside” feeling (if you can call it a feeling at all) – a neither here nor there; neither positive or negative state of being that harbours no space for inspiration; progression, and go ground to sow the seeds of love – externally or internally.
So we crave the small bits of validation and attention that feed us – then we will purge them at the first sign of dependance; we seek that of which we have no lived experience of. And we remember; only through pure ancestral reminiscence and perhaps blind faith that it must have existed once, that there must have been a time or place where everyone was honoured and seen in their individual way.
For clarities sake when I say seen, I mean not in a hierarchal fashion but as a small part of a larger story; as something of value outside of the instant soup, vending machine; jukebox broken culture that houses us now.
We as artists lament these feelings in our work, the only way we know how to and still be heard. Even if we don’t mean to; we subconsciously leave ourselves bread crumbs of recognition and recollection – not just for our own benefit but for those in our wake; as well as for those others around us that cannot step in to and digest the darkness that we do
– From behind the veil of what is corporeal and physically tangible we bring back for them (even if we don’t mean to) what they could not fathom gathering. We bring back philosophy, and stories, we bring back song and dance, we bring new vision – we bring it back from a place so obscure, wild and treacherous that we often get lost there to.
And for what?
Because of some level, we remember the sacred task of the artist. And on some level we long to be held within that task as perhaps we once were.
So until then we wait – we build foundations and journey on in the wild untamed imagination; half blind and half mad – we wait.
Art Credit: http://loulin.deviantart.com/art/The-storyteller-s-cave-183758287