Friday, 31 December 2010

Some Thoughts on Solitude and Art

I have been busy and sociable lately ... and now I find myself missing time to myself ...  and wishing I were being more quietly creative ...

Today I came across two quotes that articulated my own amorphous yearning to return to a more hermitic life.

From a book called Solitude

What goes on in the human being when he is by himself is as important as what happens in his interactions with other people.   

… Two opposing drives operate throughout life: the drive for companionship, love, and everything else which brings us close to our fellow men; and the drive toward being independent, separate, and autonomous. 

…   The creative person is constantly seeking to discover himself, to remodel his own identity, and to find meaning in the universe through what he creates. He finds this a valuable integrating process which, like meditation or prayer, has little to do with other people, but which has its own separate validity. His most significant moments are those in which he attains some new insight, or makes some new discovery; and these moments are chiefly, if not invariably, those in which he is alone.

On Art in the rapidly changing electronic world ... from Robert Genn

Art fills a vital human need for life enhancement. Art reboots the cerebral cortex, teaches new skills to underutilized hands, arouses dormant sensitivities and promotes latent passions. If need be, art gives us something to talk about besides the kids, grandkids and celebrities, hence making us more interesting people. And it's cheap--a month of art supplies for the average Daumier is about the same as a round of golf.

For many of us it's meant a greater need for and appreciation of sanctuary. We catch ourselves daily in our work-spaces--whether tiny rooms or lofty studios--often contented, always challenged. These retreats are not soon to be closed. The studio is a place of dreams, and dreams, though always vulnerable, are good for us.


Barbara Carlson said...

I left a comment on your 30 Dec post. Still thinking about this one. It touches on this one, tho.

hybrasil said...

Good to see you've recovered!

Oma said...

Thanks, Hybrasil ...

And, Barbara, I think it may have to do with balance ... the balance between the human need for social contact and my own very strong urge for solitude ... and needing to be in a still place to re-set all the balances: between being peopled out and being lonely; between being unproductive and too busy. I also have to remind myself to balance out activities that demand thinking, feeling and experiencing things.

I keep trying to find a sane balance that factors in reading, writing, art, friendship, a love of nature and physical activity.

I sometimes need to escape from the world in order to discover how best to live in it.