Art is a great teller of secrets. It can’t help itself. It’s compulsive that way. Patient, but compulsive. It will wait- years if needed- before slipping in an idea or two- the secrets you would rather not tell.
I read a book by Anne Lamott and she spoke about a writing class she was teaching. She told her students to write whatever came to them- even if their family or others would not like it.
She wrote that she remembered at least two instances in which students wrote about being made to choose their own switches to be struck with by a parent as punishment. Hmm….not the image most families would prefer be portrayed- most would prefer the stylized, contrived family portrait hanging over the mantle to the true stories.
And most likely not the topic these authors upon signing up for the class imagined they would feel internally called to write about.
But that is the thing about creativity. Its nails scratch at the door, refusing to go away until you let it in.
Lately, I have been feeling this sense. When the opaque stone is removed from the eye, everything is seen more clearly. Art, creativity, and blogging tend to dislodge the stone- but then you are confronted with the sense – if I even move one stone slightly, what if they all come toppling down upon me?
We are afraid sometimes that in writing our truth, we are playing with Humpty Dumpty. Things will fall, parts will shatter, and no one or no thing is putting Humpty or our lives back together again in quite the same way.
I have admired those bloggers who can write with cutting honesty- the kind of honesty that dislodges the opaque stone and pushes the fragile Humpty’s in their lives over the edge.
I don’t know what I will do next creatively, but I do know this- when something presses upon you creatively, you can not suppress it completely. You can choose how you want to manage it – maybe a private journal vs. a blog or a small sketch vs. a large piece of work or you may want to put it all out there. Whatever the choice, art and creativity demand the truth.
And if we leave the truth behind and hide from it, I believe our art and creativity leave us behind. Art requires honesty and in exchange for our honesty, art gives us resonance and truth.