To share or not to share

I’ve been mulling over issues of self-censorship lately. I create images and string words together, and allow one to influence the other, let the words and images have conversations and grow together. But I don’t always feel like sharing it. The point of creating such things is in the creation; it is not done for the sake of other people. But all art is personal – over the years I have had to get over varying degrees of heart-baring. And in one sense I am comfortable sharing it all – saying, this is me, here is my heart, I am human and alive and as sturdy and fragile as you. Somehow this idea of doing it all at once to everyone is more comfortable than showing a few such personal things to a few people. If it’s shown to a few people, it feels more deliberate, and if it’s a few specific revealings, then it’s as though I selected that thing to be shown – the element of accident is removed and I am accountable for quality, healthy motives, relevance, measurable beauty…

A small selection can be read into differently than a large one – there are different parameters to consider: if only this many items, then why these ones….

Art is about ideas. About saying something, and then, perhaps, changing your mind, and saying something else. I am not ashamed of anything I could show you. But that doesn’t mean I have to show you. Why bother even writing this? I suppose I’m trying to find the balance between openness and privacy – seeking challenge and maybe even healthy discomfort versus an ended conversation, reclusiveness, or even fear.

Of all the words I’ve written for this website, today I don’t feel like saying more than this. And that’s fine – this is where I’m at today. What I will leave you with instead are strong words from Toni Morrison in “Beloved”:

Anything dead coming back to life hurts.