H.G. Wells Quote

“This simple seeming unity –the self! Who can trace its reintegration as morning after morning we awaken, the flux and confluence of its countless factors interweaving, rebuilding, the dim first stirrings of the soul, the growth and synthesis of the unconscious to the subconscious, the subconscious to dawning consciousness, until at last we recognise ourselves again.” ~ When the Sleeper Wakes, 1899

Oh I’ve been having trouble sleeping… and when I do I find myself dreaming and disoriented upon waking. I came across this quote from one of my favorite writers: HG Wells and thought it was perfect. Finding your self once more as you slowly throw off the veil of sleep.

 

The Purpose

“Only in the darkness can you see the stars.” Dr. Martin Luther King

“…then what are we fighting for?” Winton Churchill – when asked to cut funding for the arts in favour of the war effort.

“Art washes away from the soul, the dust of every day life.” Pablo Picasso

Times are bad. Really bad… Mass shootings, political unrest, natural disasters, sex abuse scandals, threat of nuclear war, poverty, illness… I could go on. How do we even get ourselves out of bed in the morning? I suppose everyone has a way to cope. After all, here we are, right? But as artists –and by artists I mean anyone involved in creative work– we may ask ourselves, what is the use? What practical purpose does my writing, painting, poetry, photography, music, dance, woodworking, quilting, sculpting, and so on, and so on, serve?

I began this piece with those quotes for a reason. They encapsulate the purpose for art in all its forms. To shine a light in the darkness. To give an outlet for our emotions, be that joy expressed in laughter or deepest sorrow when we are moved to tears. Without art, without creativity, we are automatons: eating, sleeping, working, consuming. Repeat.

The arts allow us to escape but for a brief time from the troubles of real life. Art is good for the mind, for the heart, for the soul. It helps us articulate our feelings, gives us cathartic release. Why do you think we sing songs and recite poetry at funerals? Because the music or the beautiful verses give us a channel for our grief.

So if you’re ever asking yourself what’s the point, remind yourself that you as an artist, in whatever form you create, are one of the stars in the darkness. 

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