Object Dar't

April 24, 2013

HOLY COW! It can't be true!

Recently, a very dear friend inquired, "Are you an artist because you are sensitive or sensitive because you are an artist?" I don't know the answer to that question. I responded that it was a bit like, "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" The answer doesn't seem important. What seems important is the truth that I am sensitive. It's something that permeates not just my work but through the entire core of my life and it's been that way for as long as I can remember.

It is however a double edged sword. My sensitivity means that I feel things (and think things) much more intensely than I think much of the world does. I become more attached to people and they make a bigger impact on me than they see on the surface. I experience happiness as utter joy and I experience sadness profoundly. Add in my innate optimism and it makes for going through much of my life with loving bliss in spite of the pain. There is a comfort and a confidence in the pairing. And my work shows you what that looks and feels like. It's not a bad place to be. And always, always, always, the joy eventually overtakes any pain and even heals it.

 But this conversation with my friend caused me to inquire within about the nature of this sensitivity. Am I missing a filter that others seem to possess which acts like sunglasses shielding them from the waves of emotion? Because I see so many people who are impervious - almost numb. Like me, are they are born this way or has it been learned? And in looking at so many artists through history, you can see that sometimes that sensitivity is at times experienced as torturous. What is it about this sensitivity that it could be expressed as blissful OR torturous in different people? I have concluded that it literally depends on the point of view of the person. That it must be up to each of us as individuals to create our "heaven" or our "hell" here on earth.

One of my friends has a son with special disabilities. I hate that word "disabilities." To me, he is simply wired uniquely and beautifully. And when he was at my house playing with my children, he pondered upon some of my paintings. He turned to me quietly and said, "I want to live there." Most people would probably hear that as his fantasy talk but he and I have a very private understanding. His world is filled with authority figures concerned with making him behave and look as much like other children as possible. His reaction is negative and IMO rightly so. It's both frustrating and sad to watch. So I understood him fully when I replied, "I know sweetie." Because I really do know. I know what it feels like to have the world around you pushing and pulling to make you something awful when your soul is simply sweet and tender. I wish I could have told him that he must hold tight to his own soul in spite of all the things happening around him. But he doesn't have the capacity for that kind of understanding. The simple truth remains that if his internal barometer will only resist the pressure and stay true to the beautiful soul he is, he WILL live in that painting. No one knows better than me.

And so I began to wonder if we can form with force other human beings into being more "normal", maybe we can form with force (or at least partially train!) others to be more sensitive. I've begun trying. And for good reason. The result of opening yourself up to the world around you and being sensitive, is the beginning of acting in the spirit of giving. When you are sensitive, you begin to see the needs of those around you. The only way you could not is if you had no heart at all. And as demonstrated by events of late, you can see that it is human nature to help when you see someone truly in need. I've learned something very important though, giving is paradoxical. It seems you are giving something away (and that you will somehow have less) but when you give - you get back 100 times the value of what you gave away. And I want to be clear. You don't get something back from the person you gave to but rather you get something from deep inside your own self. Your heart grows bigger and becomes full. You will begin to find that the people around you will instinctively really love you. You will feel pride that exceeds even something like winning an Olympic medal. And something deep thing inside you will feel deliciously sweet instead of bitter. I can't think of a single thing in life more important than not feeling bitter at the core. There is no value in a life wasted in bitterness. I've seen it and so have you. And who on their deathbed ever says they wish they'd been more of a bitter asshole?

I realize that there will probably be people who read this post and think I'm a fuit loop. I'm used to that. I stopped giving a shit a long time ago because when I compare my world with theirs, I know with my every fiber that I'm not the fruit loop. The things I say here have always been about encouragement. It's necessary and needed. Every human being needs a cheerleader and I continue to be committed to encouraging people to run toward their goodness and happiness. Lord knows there are enough people acting from a place of pain, spreading it out. So if even one person reading this ponders their own choice of creating "heaven" or "hell", then the words of my silly blog will have the same achievement as my paintings. Go paint the world happy...give it a try...just once and see what happens. You'll change the world (and yourself), I promise.

With all the love and affection my heart can hold,

P.S. Sorry for the misleading title but I've learned that dramatic titles get posts read and this one needed to get read :D *giggle*