I’ve recently connected the Robert Hunter lyric; ‘…statements just seem vain at last’ and the idea of creativity – narcissism, participation, the different kinds of artists, performers, entertainers – their agenda, or lack thereof, with my understanding; that is – facing yourself as a conduit for beauty and sharing, intentionally or not.
It’s a way of communicating – in that statement rests the basic premise that I can’t exist in a bubble. I need to interact – and in this case it is an outward flow of information – and a backward flow of agreement or discussion – validation? But validation can’t reach the core – when we say – “I find this beautiful”, who can deny it?
So, the writer writes and hopes that the product will be accepted in some form – the musician and dancers perform, artists of other disciplines paint, photograph, sculpt or construct. Actors act. All of these people should be presenting one unified piece – “Isn’t it fine? Isn’t this beautiful?”
It’s all a performance – it can’t be effective as anything else – I first heard this opinion from Bill Henderson forty years or more ago; ‘if there’s no audience there just ain’t no show.’ (It can be argued that this isn’t so in all cases, and that is true; art for the sake of creating – self expression – pure narcissism – is not only valid, but in some cases the only acceptable flow. But I digress).
A point has been reached where I have found that all my conversation is opinion based, and that the only meaningful next step has been to reverse that flow.
You amass stuff until you realize that everyone’s stuff is similar and equally valid. Any statement you can share is only opinion; ‘statements just seem vain at last’ – the idea feels like a badge of some kind.
Prior to this realization, a long time ago – I decided to present my share as words – sentences, stories, writing, poetry. I feel comfortable with this and I’ve been told recently that I have a gift for it.
So I become a conduit for beauty – serendipity, humour, truth (that lofty bastard), optimism – and try to keep the sardonic and caustic observation focused on serving uplifting visions instead of terrible imaginings – which incidentally is its default direction – aimed and set by screws, circumstance, and birthright.
As always – your mileage may vary.