“I just realized why an artist creates something they never show anybody else,” he says.
“Why’s that?” I ask.
“It’s about loving yourself. Because you create it for yourself,” he says.
I don’t know quite how to explain it to him. How that explanation really makes no sense to me, as much as it rings true for him.
And I’m not sure it’s my place to.
Instead, I find myself thinking about what it’s meant for me. Since I’ve been writing a lot ever since I knew how to. And I’ve shown a very small portion of what I’ve written to others, even with a public presence and daily posts.
And for me, writing has always been a form of coping. A way of getting through life. Of finding something to do with extreme emotional sensitivity that otherwise had no other safe place to go.
Now, the nice thing about that is sometimes while you’re making something to cope with your emotions, you will produce works that you can share with other people. That will entertain or amuse them. Or help them cope somehow themselves. So then you share it.
But most of the time, you keep it to yourself.
And for me, it’s never originated from a place of self-love but of self-survival, although I suppose others might round self-protection and coping up to self-esteem or self-love. Not me though. To me, they feel different. Distinct. I don’t love myself, although I am compassionate towards myself.
Anyway, it’s occurred to me lately that I’m more of a professional cope-r than anything else. It never really mattered the specific form that particular coping took. Whether it was writing, music, painting, drawing, sculpture, or even pottery. Everything I’ve ever made, whether publicly or privately, was a form of coping.
I’m okay with that.