Artfully Dealing with Darkness
This is a guest post by my friend Enrico. I know no one who is as dedicated to music. Whatever else is going on, you can be sure that he is buried somewhere, writing, playing, practicing. Unless one of his friends needs someone to talk to – he always has an open ear, heart and house (and a glass of wine) for his friends, and is alway keen to jam in one way or another.
I am very glad and grateful that he decided to jam with me by contributing to this blog.
This winter is just terrible.
You can’t go outside and do stupid things in the snow. There is none. You can’t go strolling in the woods, when it’s so cold and dry that you can watch your breath freeze. All in all, you will probably not spend much time outside.
It’s just a windy, wet and uncomfortable mess outside, and even if you have enough courage to get out of your comfort-zone and go running once in a while, you will often be stuck inside.
And if you don’t have to earn your bread at this very moment and none of your friends are around, you might end up scrolling down you Facebook and Twitter Feed twice every minute, watch TV or do pointless webbrowsing.
These are times when you just have to get along with yourself alone.
Of course you can do many types of useful things, like reading a book, meditating, getting rid of useless stuff in you room, call a person you haven’t spoken to in a long time. The benefits of those things are for sure better than wasting your time, just doing something to not have to do nothing.
But they all have in common, that you won’t necessarily have a tangible result afterwards. Nothing to look at when you’re finished, saying ‘That was worth the time!’
When I’m on my own, playing, practicing and creating music is my first choice for getting through the dark and lonely season, for others it might be painting, writing or something else that doesn’t pop into my mind right now.
Spending your time learning an instrument is great, and maybe it is a simpler metaphor for something else, far more important: If you do something very often over a long period of time, you’ll inevitable become better doing it and maybe one day you’ll be a master. No matter, what exactly you are doing.
Making art is of course not only about practicing, or finishing something otherwise useless. It is a great way of becoming aware of your emotions and thoughts. When you do art, the process of creating (and your process of dealing with your inner self) will be conserved for you and everybody else to look at.
And if you, for instance, create a work of art to overcome bad feelings or situations (or conserve and worship a good happening!), it will not only help you to translate the flabby world of your emotions and thoughts into a real thing – it will last for as long as you will, as a constant reminder.
Imagine you’re getting dumped by your girl/boyfriend – like I did, not so long ago – and you put your thoughts into a painting, poem or a song to get along with your feelings, the next time a similar situation takes place you can remember and look at it. It is like a sophisticated post-it-note. It will not only show an answer or a way how to deal with it (because, last time you succeeded, right?), but it will remind you that you have achieved something that you, and only you, could have created that way.
Creating art is about being a teacher for your future being and everyone who is willing to recognize it.
And this thought is quite soothing, for me.