Thursday, September 10, 2015

Blog Elul: Create

We create our meaning. We choose whether an experience means something us or not. We are the canvases that carry our own experiences on them. We may not get to choose what kind of material that we start out as, but we do get to go from there.  In David Foster Wallace's brilliant essay/speech, This is Water, he refers to the"default setting." The "default setting" is the waiting in line at the grocery store or sitting in traffic without thinking about our thoughts. Let me explain. I'm waiting in an airport security line, nervously checking my watch every 30 seconds to ensure we won't miss our flight. I want to scream at the five year old in front of me who is whining to his parents, and the young couple edging in front of me in line, but I don't. I imagine that the five year old is just as tired and hungry as I am and that the couple is on their way to their honeymoon and their flight leaves before mine. These things may not be true. But I create these stories in my head to not only calm myself down but to lift my anxious mind out of it's self obsessed "default setting." I'm creating meaning in things that would normally make me angry. 

When we create art, we are making visual meaning of intangible emotions. How does one express the true nature of heartbreak without lovesick poetry? How does one express their jubilation without drawing with bright colored pencils? The lyrics of a song can tell you 10x more about a person than 1000 conversations. Especially during adolescent, people need an outlet to healthily make sense of their emotions. The so called "quality" of the art does not matter. If the emotion is there, the art is meaningful. 
And so we create.

To breathe easy.
To sleep.
And to find closure.

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