It is a myth that we are all special individuals who are destined for some unique personal glory. As a part of this myth, we seem to believe that our differences separate us into lonely planets, orbiting the sun with long suffering, internalized sighs. We remain tragically separate from those who we imagine could never understand the poignancy of our longing. I reject this myth for something that is more powerful and far less lonely. In practical terms, we exist in an ocean of sameness – of animal reaction and behaviour that composes the spectrum of our human experience.
It’s interesting that with all this sameness, we are constantly surprised to find friends and allies in unlikely places. In the same sense that we live out the lives of our parents; we live out the same human lives, generation after generation. In a sense we’re like a dog who lives a life that is not so dissimilar from the other dogs on his block. If he moves in his lifetime, he will experience a hiccup that leads to a readjustment to the new normal for a new place with new circumstances. But he will still be a dog; just like all the other dogs in his new neighbourhood.
It is in some way frightening to think that our individual loveliness is worthless. It is more accurate though to see individuality instead as a single flower in a field of flowers – each blossom being a different spin on the general plant / flower archetype – whose life cycle and behaviour is bound within the confines of flower-hood.
What’s great about story telling is sharing with a community of like minded people a story about themselves. The significant act is in documenting a common history that is unknowingly shared between neighbours. We read a satisfying story and are surprised to find ourselves in someone else’s life. Perhaps the gift of Art is in providing that tactile window into a bigger and richer collection of as yet unstated experience. As artists we pull a thread at that faceless human experience to present to ourselves an idea, moment or story that will in turn inspire, comfort or enrage someone else as they see for the first time, a part of themselves reflected.