Thursday, 5 September 2013

Rambling midnight thoughts on honesty

Alfredo Jaar

I'm writing again and it suddenly feels like I can breathe again -the way a city breathes after the rain cleanses the crisp morning air. I used to write a lot. I used to fill notebooks all the time, I used to write on the margins of my books and my receipts and it felt both addictive and relieving. Then, when I ran out of papers I used to write on coffee shop napkins and on my phone. And after a while the only words I ever laid down on paper were 'jasmine tea, potatoes, tomatoes, milk'.

Sometime last year, the idea that words aren't enough started forming in my mind and it never quite left it. Are words and beauty enough for a lifetime? Is anything ever enough for a lifetime? Writing is an organic relationship between the hand and the mind, but there comes a certain point when the hand  starts hiding little things from the self, like a mischievous kid hides stolen objects. 

All art relates to perception not nature, but what if your perception was clouded by your nature? Laying out words is laying yourself naked, on a cold bed, for everyone to see. Being naked and unashamed is a hard truth for everyone to bear, but especially the self -some truths are so true they are terrible to admit. Hiding little secrets behind a word or a chapter is easy -having your deepest thoughts exposed the way the sky is exposed sounds like a betrayal. Though, perhaps it feels better the way pouring sweet words over a healing wound feels good, or the way the sand feels good when it remembers the saltiness of the water. 

You have to make it a rule to always be honest, especially towards yourself. It's the only way your words will come out right, and I understand now that this was a frightening idea for me. You cannot write if you cannot be honest with your own words: the moment you start becoming scared of your own self is the moment words cease to exist as a means to life. Looking back, I realize now that not allowing myself to write down the truth was denying myself assertion over... over what? Over ego, perhaps, sense of pride, feeling of shame... and the frightening idea that some people will not understand the anatomy of your naked mind, laid out there to be judged and touched by every passerby -beggars, and lurkers and vendors; and cruel minds.

Without prejudice, without watering down my words, without editing for fashion... Raw honesty is the only catharsis. Fearlessness starts with the taming of your own truth. It is not easy, my mind is bruised with secrets and desires but I know better now -wounds heal but do not follow. 

So, from now on, honesty. It's very scary because I know that I see myself in a fully disparate way than others see me, which is painful to admit for it means that no one can ever really know you the way you know yourself. But for now -I am writing again.

No comments:

Post a Comment