Art is an interestingly human form of expression. Somewhere between the amygdala and the cortex, our brains can conjure the most amazing things.
Artists and artisans alike craft wondrous paintings and creations, vivid with colour and texture. Musicians can bend the ear and evoke such passion in one that it’s hard not to weep. Culinary masters delight our senses of smell and taste with feasts for our palates.
All of them masters of art. All of them eager to display what it’s like to be alive.
There is something special about writing though, isn’t there? It’s an abstraction. Scratches of ink on a page. A sequence of symbols in the curious invention of written language.
Words can evoke fantastic awe and visceral feeling. They can inspire you to make courageous choices you’d never dream of. A short string of text can make your mouth water with the sweet caramel brown of a sizzling steak and your nose wrinkle with the acrid sting of vomit. A story can make your heart soar with the first love of a newborn child and then plummet and break as that same life is ripped away.
Fear. Joy. Rage. Ecstasy.
All things are possible with a few strokes of a pen.
Writing a masterful story or a beautiful poem is only one half of the equation. What is art without anyone to appreciate it?
There is always an audience.
If a tree falls in the forest,
does it make a sound?
Some people decry, “I only write for myself.” They never share their work. I challenge this as uncertainty and maybe a lack of confidence.
Be brave, I say. Be brave and tell your stories.
Diary and journal keepers who pour their soul into pages that no one will ever read– even these folk understand on a deep level that there is indeed a reader. Sometimes the audience is a mirror.
Stories are how we learn and grow. How we share experiences.
When Gronk first went back to the cave to share his spoils of the hunt, he told the tale of chases, escapes, failures and victory. His tribesmen, enjoying the greasy meat glistened by firelight, were held rapt by his tale. And the next time they hunted, they were better skilled.
Stories are the tools of teachers and the instruments of learning.
Verse and song were composed to package the knowledge to be shared and built upon. Entertainment and art-form made the secrets stick and resonate in the mind.
A story’s persuasive power brings us together and binds us. A story galvanizes us to action.
Stories are what made our species thrive. We became strong.
But only because we told them to other souls.
We connected. We exchanged knowledge. We grew.
Tell your stories. Write them. Perfect them. Share them. Make them better. Make them come alive. It’s up to you.
Your stories are uniquely yours.
I’d like to read them. We all would.