“Sometimes we lay aside our own troubles when we wipe away another's tears.”
Is no longer alone
his life is not easy; a winding, sometimes whimsical, sometimes tragic journey that ultimately finds terminus in the same common destination for each of us. No matter the brave, fierce constructs we build and serve that would have us believe we are each one of us all alone as we make this journey, we make our way toward the end of all things side-by-side in our community of the living each day defying death. Our paths may be wildly divergent—the way of the hungry and impoverished traveling the same timeline with the grotesquely indulgent, the very best of us side-by-side with the most evil of us; but all headed for the same fate: dust. Every one hundred years or so, tribes of all new people roam the Earthsphere, trying to figure it out one more time from the handful of clues, many just recycled, left by those having come and gone before.
Until there were written records, the clues were all visual; a handprint on a cave wall and then a foot cast in dried silica turned to fossil; maybe a drawing of an animal; maybe a group of stones that is now incomprehensible but undeniably sculptural. Only recently do we humans use writing at all or keep things in books. Museums are only a couple of hundred years old. Public ones are mostly younger than a hundred. And now we collect clues in digits in quantities and scope unparalleled in the past with the vain glorious hope that our collective records will last for all ages and transmit out to other universes; when of course the reality may be that a single electrical blip, perhaps a sizeable solar flare, could wipe those digits clean in an instant. It is the here and now that matters. It is the collection in front of our eyes that draws meaning. It is the art you make now that expresses your soul and reflects all that has come before worth knowing and projects forward all that will be forever.
It has always been easy to imagine ourselves, and truly believe ourselves, to be all alone in our journey through life. For some of us this perceived loneliness is too much for a human being to bear, especially at the Holidays. But this cannot be.
In this new millennium, the spirit of the cyber-Magi, ghosts riding the world web, have brought us a gift of connectivity and global community such has never existed before. The phantom of aloneness is finally disintegrating and blowing away amidst wave after wave of millions upon millions of web citizens linking with each other.
Communities like deviantART and others that have formed with the advent of the web have suddenly given us the opportunity to move past the confines of our own geographical “villages” and allowed a connection and sometimes, more aptly, a collision, of diverse humanity to connect and jack in to the collective Anima Mundi.
We feel alone with our personal problems, secrets, burdens, and self-destructive obstructive thoughts—suffocating thoughts that sometimes seem to be slowly killing the soul. Such are our thoughts of absolute isolation when confronting our hidden things that are too much for one person to handle.
But sharing our pain begins our healing.
And beyond that: Shared pain often leads to shared healing.
I have read so many deeply moving journals over the years with story after story of support and friendship both on the site between artists of every stage of development and off site between friends, colleagues, lovers, co-workers, activists, and everything in between. Deeply important connections shared with each other sparked by an initial passion for art years before. The deviantART community has proven to me again and again that at core it operates on a currency of love—love for art and love for other community members.
Since finding the deviantART community I have made friends and shared burdens with people on deviantART that were not shared in real life. Many burdens require just such a community of others who have endured similar fire or experiences, as they sometimes are the only healing waters that can extinguish tormenting flames. At some point I will write about my experience and I will share pivotal moments of peace I found at critical junctures through connecting with others around the world within the deviantART community. It should be no surprise that the deviantART community should provide such a source of regenerative person-to-person healing.
Many online communities are capable of providing loving curative support to worldwide members. But deviantART, for me, with the message of the special powers of ART at its core, is a massive supernova-strength engine for global as well as personal peer-to-peer communication and healing. The very idea, intention, comprehension, gift, and nature of art can be a powerful form of communal and personal healing. A community of millions with an art intention can heal multitudes.
Don’t believe the depressing hype.
It may just be you all by your lonesome, warming your bones by your fireplace yule log (or like me renting a video of a fireplace and watching it burn and flicker on a TV set), as the snow piles up outside… But you are not alone. If you are reading this Holiday Message it means that you have 24/7 access and instantaneous worldwide reach at your fingertips.
We’re on our way into 2014—and we’re going in shoulder-to-shoulder, side-by-side, connected and jacked into our worldwide community’s future.
The sum of our Karma will one day free the Universe (so enough with the too-hip-for-the-room grumpy Scrooge vibe).
Onward, to the next artful steps on our path.
Have you ever had a secret you feared would alienate your friends, but only strengthened your friendship when it was revealed?
Do the holidays make you want to retreat or explode?
Are the arts or the making of art a pathway to getting you through tough times?
How have you used the deviantART community to connect during the holidays?