Creating Imitations

Existencial crises seem to gravitate towards me. More often than I would like, too.

This time, I could not bring myself to decide on a colour in which I would draw. When someone finally decided for me, I could not even begin to imagine what in the world I would draw.

I walked away, each step I took, engraving the pavement with question marks.

There was a time when calling myself an “artist” was glamorous. Even better, when other people described me as “really creative” and “so talented”, boy, would my ego blush!

It is to my misfortune, however, that I seem to, eventually, begin to dissect everything I experience. So, me being “creative” wasn’t about to be an exception.

It was on Wikipedia, yes, Wikipedia, that I found that back in the day, the notion of “creativity” was something that was solely attributed to God. Only God Himself could create.

Before you beg the question, here’s what Plato had to say about it:

Will we say, of a painter, that he makes something?

Certainly not, he merely imitates.

This is where my suppressed idealistic juices begin to flow. Having been blessed with big eyes, I cannot fail to contemplate all this beauty that surrounds me. The idea of my “art” being a humble attempt at capturing what has already been created sits well with my conscience.

And I’m not the only one:

For he’s the super realist
who must perforce perceive
taut truth
before the taking of each stance or step
in his supposed advance
toward that still higher perch
where Beauty stands and waits
with gravity
to start her death-defying leap

– “Constantly Risking Absurdity”, Lawrence Ferlinghetti

All of this makes me reconsider  what it means to be creative or to create.

In all honesty, and it is the idealist in me that types this, I find it far more heartwarming to believe that all the world’s artistic expressions are but mere translations of a much higher form of beauty, a much higher form of language and an inpenetrable knowledge.

Artists have in them the responsibility to, as Ferlinghetti writes, catch Beauty as she jumps to our arms.

And to end this rant once and for all, because most have said it better than I could ever attempt to,

The poet doesn’t invent. He listens.

– Jean Cocteau


2 thoughts on “Creating Imitations

  1. Interestingly enough, my anthropology class is dealing with the idea of beauty and whether or not it is a construct of society. I for one believe that beauty is an objective truth that we can all experience if we see things in their true essence. Kinda Platonic but I’m still figuring it out. Good piece.

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