Thursday, January 14, 2010

Why We Create (Why I Write)

Humans have a brain capable of abstraction. We can reflect on why something has happened, what may happen...we can project our imaginings into the future, and conceive of countless ways to "be" in the world...we are (as far as we know) the only animals on this planet capable of contemplating our own mortality; of contemplating God or Whatever-You-Want-to-Call-It.

This is why we create.

A hallmark of humanity has been our manipulation of the material world, combined with our ability to think abstractly. We create Art, tools, body adornments, etc. We are brilliant in our facility to adapt our environments to our needs. We excel at contemplating that we *can* do this; and creating artefacts that represent this knowlwdge.

This is why we create.

We are driven by an internal thirst to make sense of why we "are." Why are we here? Are we a dumb and blind product of natural selection, or were we put here by LGM?* Are we the beloved children of a beneficent Supreme Being?

Inside, we are always questing in some way. It is in human nature to never be satisfied. We can be content for a time--even downright happy--but that questing is always there, inside, smouldering in our guts.

When asked why I write, I have often said that "writing saved my life." This form of creation has been by my side since childhood. It has allowed me to voice my growing awareness of the world's complexity. As I grew older, it was an outlet for my inner turmoil. There have been times in my life when I literally felt as if I would burst and die if I could not, in some way, exorcise some of the thoughts, desires, or pain I was feeling....then I would pick up a pen. Or a keyboard. And I would write. And that unbearable pressure would lessen.

We create to give form to that which cannot be contained in other ways. Love, pain, hatred, sorrow, isolation...none of these are quantifiable; all are part of the human condition. And so we write...or paint...or cook...or create in a myriad of ways, according to our skills and inclinations.

We are all artists.

*=Little Green Men

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