I first started blogging on Medium, back in June 2017. As I write this, a little over a month has come to pass. Today, 20-something reflective essays later, I am finally tired of writing about myself.
It feels like the right time, or more like the right time has passed, to explore new genres. I’ve tried my hand at poetry, and I want to stick with it, for poetry and I have a good thing going.
Our love affair began my Freshman Year of college, when I took a World Lit class for my minor. At first, I thought I would be reading books. Little did I know, my professor was incredibly inventive and quite taken with poetry. I stayed in the class and questioned my sanity, as I imagined a semester reading poems would be equivalent to relentless self-torture. Well, I must be masochistic because I ended up loving it.
I became the girl who contributed in every class. Multiple times, in every class. Asking questions, in every class. And I enjoyed it; not just because participation was 60% of my grade.
I digress. I am trying to say that I’m ready to move away from self-reflective writing, and to try my hand at something new. Who’s to say I’ll be any good at it? That’s not the point. At the same token, who knows what genius is buried away, under layers of self-obsession and anxious thoughts.
I’m done contemplating what I should create. It doesn’t make sense to limit my mental capacity to the production of articles and memoirs in the making, when I could be writing about fictional people and creating worlds that exist only in the hollows of my brain.
So now I think, maybe I should just sit down, imagine a character, and let my mind run unbounded. I’ve written short stories before, back when I was young and had yet to be oppressed by the weight of the world or the judgement of hypercritical people.
Perhaps as I explore new genres, I can try to create self-reflective pieces that aren’t personal essays. The goal is to leave readers thinking, “wow she’s incredible,” and if not, I hope they are at least under the impression that I am slightly insane. I guess I want to unlock my own kind of genius, and ultimately create pieces that amount to the perfect collage of my being. You know, funny charming, and highly relatable because messy people always are.
It’s time to wrap this ramble up. Somehow, I have managed to write a total of 450 words, without getting to my intended topic. I sat here to write about being an artist. So I will.
I have always felt as if I lean on the side of artistry that people seem reluctant to call art.
For instance, you know how there are those who get incredibly winded about renaissance paintings, classical music, and the theater? I am the opposite of that. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love Monet as much as the next girl, but pretty colors and textures mark the limit of my love. I am not fascinated by the history of most art, nor am I taken with the rendition of stories through song.
I have a feeling there are a number of people who may want to hurt me for writing this as I have — from marrying my love for Monet with the way he painted lilies, to the fact that I didn’t use a gender neutral term for those who appreciate his art. Remember, I am entirely self-involved and this is a sentence about me, so try not to take offense.
Returning to the issue at hand, I like words and I enjoy the way they tend to wrap around each other. Good sentences are intimate in a sense — the way twists and turns combine to create articulations, which when read aloud have the power to render people inarticulate. The feelings that can be conjured through the mutual understanding of words. The way the same phrase can be interpreted uniquely by different people. All of it, I love.
I like music that feels unfinished, and I don’t believe that every song is intended to change the world.
I like aesthetics, and the way articles combined can be beautiful together, just as they’re beautiful apart.
I like absurdities, and the belief that things don’t have to make sense, because life doesn’t make sense.
I don’t believe that things must be deep and profound to be properly appreciated.
With that I say, I am an artist. There are few terms with which I identify, but at present, this has become one. It joins my identification as being both black and a woman, because those characteristics are two of the most undeniable parts of myself. They have shaped the person I am today, and now my artistry will as well.
I am an artist in the way I cast words, like iron under the heat of a flame. I am an artist in the way I run my life, like an athlete who suffers to train. And I am an artist because I believe it; my life goal is to narrate. I want to build brands, businesses, and communities around the stories we create. As a team, as a population, as a people.
So what if I’m just starting? Who is to say when art becomes art?