Art Before Headlines

I’ve purposely not read the news before coming here to the Archives.

If I begin to follow the latest media feed this morning, I will get lost in a splintering of thought threads to nowhere. Emotions will ricochet, probably fixate, and creative expression will get ditched for dismay.

Art deserves sacred space, preferably before 6am.

Today’s humble offering is simply an observation. Acknowledgement of the path I’m following, with no certainty of where it leads. I sense that I’m on track, though the exact coordinates of my destination are unknown.

Maybe this is true of the collective. Perhaps the whole world is feeling its way in the dark, with only a few feet ahead illumined by some slant of light. Step by step, we’re making our way. How do we know which course to follow?

I’ve got my inner compass in extra-sensory mode, trying to listen deeply, watch carefully, and go with my gut.

How are you making your way?

True or False

When we find out we’ve been duped by someone’s falsehood, the feeling of betrayal can be enraging. We want the truth. We want to trust that what we’re told is real, no hidden tricks or ulterior agendas.

As honesty makes headlines, I’m left to examine truth and my great regard for authenticity. No one likes a liar. Nothing infuriates me like a fib.

Yet they say that when you point a finger, there are four others pointing back at yourself.

Are there places in my life where I’m less than honest? Have there been times when I’ve chosen the convenience of a ‘white lie’ over the discomfort of the truth? I aim to always speak honestly, regardless, but am I doing this all of the time, every time?

Looking beyond my communications with others, am I honest with myself?

Are there certain things I just don’t want to face? Do I sugarcoat the grit? Am I burying the unsightly? Creating facades? Attempting to camouflage aspects of reality I just cannot accept?

We all know our true north. When something is right, it rings true in our cells. When something is false, our bodies feel the funk.

Angry and astonished as I may be at disregard for the sacredness of truth, I’m prompted to look at those four fingers aimed right at my own little heart. If full transparency is what I want, then am I ready to really face facts? Am I willing to be radically (and lovingly) honest with my self?

One thing’s certain: we are powerful. Each of our arrows are pointing to this authority on our own inner compass. There’s no denying True North, and this truth will set us free.

Unlocked

After years of posting to the Archives, it’s always interesting to observe those select times when one of my pieces has a particular electricity to it. Yesterday’s My Movie was one of those occasions when hitting the “Publish” button felt especially daring. Perhaps it was the subject matter – my recent personal experience of a random man propositioning me on the city street. Maybe it was the weight of those recently speaking out about sexual assault that made the post feel extra potent. It may have been my radical attempt to consider taking full responsibility for the entire experience, essentially wondering if there is a place of blamelessness to be found in what appeared to be such an obvious attack.

Whatever it was that brought some hesitation to my typing hands, I forged ahead despite it. Let the words pour out in a novella-length accounting. Emboldened by the act of revealing more than what felt ‘safe,’ I dared even further and shared my Archives post on Facebook. Being a reluctant FB participant, this act seemed the scariest of all. My ‘friends’ would actually see it.

I’ve recently been contemplating the value and importance of authenticity in writing. A few recent essays  I’ve read (Dani Shapiro’s “On Authenticity,” in particular) have suggested our culture is too easily prone to creating facades through social media, only posting the bright and shiny, omitting much of the shadowed sides of our daily living. Had I fallen prey to playing it safe here on the Archives, too?

Lots of ponder, so today I wanted to pause on words. In the morning, my grandmother’s jewelry box caught my eye upon the shelf. Treasures under lock and key.

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In honor of opening doors and bringing in the light, I turned the key in the lock. Rediscovering what gems may be inside.

 

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