Why art is good for the world

Photo credit: ©FFDwrites

 

I am a  product of a society that valued left brain logical intelligence. A graduate of a school system in a developing african country chasing economic GDPs of the future, that dabbled in creativity but applauded and sought to churn out mathematicians, scientists and accountants. A Muslim individual from a global collective seeking to find its worthy place in modern society and who lost sight of its creative instincts in the likes of the poets Rumi and Rabia and the free thinkers and artists of the medieval Golden Age of Muslim Spain.

Following your own path is a daunting one. It means going through the woods alone. At night. In the middle of a wretched winter. While the rest of the flock stay warm and dry in the barn. This is the path of trials and tribulations where you discover yourself.

I’ve always loved words and writing. I would repeat words and let it roll off my tongue. I liked it so much that the English language didn’t have enough words for me, so I learned foreign ones to taste a culture through its words. But I hid what I loved under what seemed ‘reasonable’ – reporting. Not reporting with words, no. Financial reporting. I ended up in the world of finance and accountants, where I suspect many closet-creatives hide. It seems to be the default career choice for those caught unsure of their next step after high school.

Through the numbers, my passion called to me. It spoke through the joy I found in writing reports, business plans, emails and letters. My heart soared when we were handed essays for university assignments, while most of my friends and classmates groaned. Anything to do with words appealed to me.

Yet it took many years for me to hear what it had to say, which was to follow this path to whatever destiny awaits.

Getting started was difficult. I had severe mental blockages and deeply rooted fears. This was more of a problem when it came to writing fiction as it seemed less important and unnecessary. I had no issues with non-fiction writing and journalism having successfully written these in the past. Passing on information was useful, telling stories was not.

Instead of trying to untangle the mess of psychological knots formed over more than three decades, I did a simple mental persuasion. I searched for evidence to outweigh my fears. The irony of resorting to logic to unlock my creativity did not elude me. But juxtaposition is the beauty of life in motion.

For art to be good for something, it has to be useful. (Remember, this is pure rationalising. In truth art is expression, is the end in itself) I discovered that what I valued most about words and writing was what it achieved: communication.

Art in all its forms; movies, books, photographs, pictures and stories is the human experience in a tangible form. Then it is converted back into human experience through emotions evoked by the artistic piece. It becomes communication on an emotional maybe even a spiritual level.

And with that I took my first tentative steps onto my own authentic path. I do not know where I’m headed and the woods are cold and dark. There are times when the light breaks through, and I see the flowers that grow on the wayside, flowers I haven’t seen before. They are beautiful. They take my breath away.

Daily Prompt: Discover

 

 

 

 

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