So it goes: we think we are the sole gatekeepers, the only experiencers of emotion, the only wardens of a feeling, and we tell ourselves everyone has had heartbreak, but not quite mine, and everyone’s lost a fortune, but not quite like I have. Then, we hear a song, read a poem, or find a story. We learn it is a tale as old as time, that there has always been one person who has experienced the exact feeling, down to the last detail. Suddenly, we are not as crucial to the universe. We are but one of many, and slowly, this happens for all things until we convalesce into the whole.
Everything that can be seen is seen already. Everything that is to be felt has been felt already. The difference arises in whether it was written about; even then, most of it is written about, painted, or expressed. All the essential things in life demand to be written. It is not the prerogative of the writer or the artist to choose their subject. Their only job is to channel it and put it out. We’re but vessels. We express so someone has a yardstick when the ground shifts beneath their feet, when the volcanoes of their doubt erupt, when the rage traps them in a storm, when love engulfs them and leaves them in a blizzard, cold and starving. Even in that, we are one of many. There are no unique people, and even if one argues we are, all people are different in the same ways.
The world runs on irony. To find how we differ, we must first be of the people; to find how we’re the same, we must first try to diverge. And eventually, we must come to the middle in our own way. There’s always a middle. I will always be as different to my fellow people as I am similar to them. It is only a matter of what I seek and what I want, and even then, it is only a matter of what I get. Not all lost roads lead to paradise; not all crowds are true and right.
There will always be a tattered note before every lost road: I travelled this, too. There will always be one person who hesitates within a crowd: I think of leaving, too. This is the job of the artist. To help the conformers defy and to help the defiers conform. The artist must always stay suspended in the middle. Everyone else comes and goes.