“When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history, it becomes more beautiful.” Billie Mobayed, British woman living in Dubai, Director, Life Model Management
Would we feel compelled to ply our art – poetry or other forms of creative expression – if we were whole, if we were not wounded soldiers? Do we write out of our broken places? Smarter folks than me have pondered and pontificated on this, but surely we do sometimes create to heal, filling in the cracks in our psyches with poetic gold.
This came home to me when I noticed that the quotes I put up on my FaceBook page that seem to resonate most* with people are the ones that point to a sense of not fitting in, of feeling alienated, of being a loner …
“Blessed are the weird people – poets, misfits, writers,mystics, painters, troubadours – for they teach us to see the world through different eyes.” Jacob Norby, American inspirational writer and entrepreneur
“Almost every truly creative being is alienated and expatriated in his own country.” Lawrence Ferlinghetti (b.1919), American poet, painter, activist, and co-founder of City Lights Booksellers and Publishers/SF, CA
On the cold sea, empty of life
A solitary craft
Edward Abbey (1927-1989), novelist, essayist and environmental advocate from “Earth Apples: The Poetry of Edward Abbey,” which is his the only poetry collection – the poems gathered and published posthumously by David Peterson
I noticed as well that this Blake quote and short poem of mine from a March 2011 post also resonated …
“Madmen I have been called Fool they called Thee
I wonder which they Envy Thee or Me”
English Encouragement of Art by William Blake (1757 – 1827), English poet, printer, artist, luminary
It speaks to them like an old-growth forest
whispering into a wise and willing ear.
Or perhaps its cellular memory or ancestors
not silenced by death at all but having their
say along some thread of DNA by which
chaos becomes story becomes chaos again.
Or might it be some rarely seen insanity.
Check the DSM*, where you’ll find it laid out
grossly defined and oddly diminishing.
No naming stops its quiet flow, slow and
cool in a swift and overheated world.
*DSM Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
- Jamie Dedes
Perhaps we sometimes do write out of our broken places, but I believe that just as often we write to understand and to live more fully and that mostly we write out of our sacred space.
These are the two quotes that resonate most for me:
“The artist is not a person endowed with free will who seeks his own ends, but one who allows art to realize its supreme purpose through him.” Carl Jung (1875-1961), Swiss psychiatrist, psychotherapist and founder of analytical psychology.
“What art offers is space – a certain breathing room for the spirit.” John Updike (1932-2009), American novelist, poet, short story writer, art and literary critic
The meaning in our craftiness and its use and impetus may be viewed in many ways; but it would seem that whatever the view, we are always filling the cracks with gold. That is how we – and the world with us – heal and understand. It is how we, as Hemingway wrote of one of his characters, “grow strong in broken places.”
* with a Facebook page, just as with a blog, the owner can see how many people actually visit a post, though these statistics are not visible to readers.
©2013, essay/poem, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved, licensing for online publications is nonnegotiable and requires permission, attribution, link to this site, my copyright, no modification, noncommercial only and does not imply permission to include the work in the site’s printed collections or anthologies.
Photo credit ~ original source unknown. If it is yours, please let me know and I’ll credit you or take it down as you please.
. . . and thus we begin another week . . .