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Over the course of my life I have found that there is a basic human need for self-expression.  Everyone, somewhere deep in the twisted passages of their souls, has a gnawing desire to express themselves and make a mark, no matter how small or temporary, on the world around them.  And, as a consequence of the basic human yearning, I truly believe that everyone has art within them.

I understand that some people out there are probably laughing or shaking their heads right now.  Society has trained us to believe that art takes a talent that is rare in our species.  We are led to believe that only those with a particular gift are able to create art.  I would argue this is not so.  Art is nothing more than the soul’s way of expressing itself to the world around it.  A way for us to cry out in that primal voice that we hear with the small part of us that hasn’t lost that primacy.

There is a reason that the art of others can generate such emotion within us.  We hear that spirit crying out and our soul aches for the sympathy we feel for the joy, sorrow, or whatever other emotion is expressed.  Emotions are some of the most defining parts of our beings, but so many people try to bury them beneath the layers of culturally enforced politeness that we are all indoctrinated with as we grow up.  Yes, it is important to be able to rein your emotions in when they threaten to run roughshod over your intellect.  But, by the same token, we need to be able to let the leash slip from time to time and truly experience what we feel.

That is what it is to be human.

And, one of the best ways to do this is to find what your art is and revel in the primal screams it allows you to create.  When I was younger, I was convinced I had talent for drawing.  I was convinced that my path was to lead me straight to the doors of Disney Studios where I would have a successful career as an animator.  I wanted it so badly that I failed to listen to my personal Muse as it tried to drag me kicking and screaming away from visual art.

Now I have learned to take up pen (or keyboard, as the case may be) to practice my art with the written word.  Is this the true nature of my art?  I don’t know for sure, but I know that I enjoy it and the expression it gives me fulfills that need rolling around the cockles of my soul.  Others tell me I have talent.  I’m not so sure, but it gives me an outlet.  It is that outlet that is the important thing.  I have a place where I can vent all the emotional tides that can sometimes threaten to overwhelm me.  I have learned to use my writing as a panacea at times.

So, reach down into yourself.  Find your art.  Find the spigot that, when opened, allows the emotions to take over just long enough to cleanse you.  It can be as simple as dancing around your living room while belting out your favorite song off-key or as involved as painting detailed landscapes or writing the great American novel.

Whatever it is, your art is yours.  And no one can take that away from you once you have found your Muse.


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