Just because someone is quiet it does not mean that they are not thinking or feeling something meaningful. It is their choice when and what they say and do.
Artists go through cycles of silence and speech. In the silence they are listening, reading, gathering, planning, creating. The speech comes in all forms. The Arts teach us this. Books become teachers and good friends. All forms of the Arts provide something of significance at different times. Life, the world around us and the world within us is the greatest teacher.
Study the life of a bamboo shoot, for example. Unlike a tree, a bamboo shoot pushes itself through the soil to reveal its true beauty at its maximum width and height ‘in a single growing season of three to four months’ (Wikipedia).
Some artists go away and work in silence to emerge with complete works ready for editorial development and publication. Some writers do not workshop material. They simply create and provide the manuscript for the agent and/or publisher to prepare for the reader.
Every artist has to find their way, just like every human being. For artists are one breed of human being so very different from most people. When an artist understands this, he can be kinder to himself and guide others to be kinder to him too.
Just because I have been quiet here on this new site since early September 2017 that does not mean I did not have something to say.
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens.
A G-d fearing person strives to emulate G-d’s ways. As Tomer Devora (The Palm Tree of Devorah by Rabbi Moshe Cordovero) explains this book ‘is essentially an ethical treatise devoted to a Kabbalistic understanding of the commandment to imitate G-d. Based on the verses ‘you should go in His ways’ (Devarim 28:9).
If a person believes in G-d, he knows the only one constant in his life is G-d.
An artist strives like his Creator to be constant. Like the sun rises and sets so an artist will plan to sit and create to produce worthy material to help, inspire and bring joy to people. There is no greater happiness for an artist than that of being able to give of himself in this way to others. As G-d gives, an artist wishes to do no less. But, only G-d has the capacity to be consistent. Human beings by nature strive for this ideal but so much gets in the way.
Like a bamboo shoot, artists can make great strides and produce worthy work in a short period of time. Study the life of writers, it is clear this is possible. An artist may have to ask for G-d’s grace; always a good idea. They may have to listen very carefully to the innate knowingness within; a fixed given. They may have to be silent; they may have to go somewhere quiet and endure hours and days of solitude. They may be misunderstood. They may feel compelled to relinquish (sometimes temporarily, sometimes forever) certain people and particular things in the pursuit of their destination. All this and more they may do to achieve a goal for the sake of the work; only the work.
In the silence, there is much gold to be mined. We should not fear the quiet or the isolation. In this place sometimes we discover our truest friend, the one that loves us the most and can give us the most – ourselves. For, G-d who created us and must love us for He blessed us with life and opportunity is the only constant. Everything and anyone else is a true blessing for there are no guarantees in our lifetime. The only guarantee is life and death and what lies in-between.
Make the moments count; those filled with silence and all the rest.
Wishing you clarity, peace of mind, blessings and happiness throughout 2018 – and beyond.