Sehnsucht Part 1: Chasing the Elusive Acorn
Lately I’ve been pondering and feeling convicted. I’ve been trying to piece it all together again after thinking I was starting to find myself and my artistic identity. I realized I was trying to make my way on my own. I was trying to shape an identity as an artist, and I was about to start presenting myself online by the basics: what inspires me/what’s inspired my work, and what my outlooks on those things are. But In doing so, I have overlooked the most important piece of the puzzle: the big picture itself… the surface… the ink… the salt… the coffee… the texture…
The truth is that I’ve been feeling stuck lately. Trying to figure out how to fly without wings, without the wind as the medium to flow through. Like trying to swim without the water.
As a self-employed “emerging” artist there is the inevitable fight to have it all figured out. To figure it all out and To make it all on your own. And it’s overwhelming. But it can be easy to forget what gave you the momentum in the first place. And I’ve been remembering that lately. That it wasn’t my talent that gave me the momentum. The talent is just the point on the nosecone of the rocket. The gift is the rocket body. And while so much of my art was created out of pain and the journey from that place into a new perspective, that is merely the trajectory.
The momentum is all of who I am propelled by something else. My life is set on a course, fueled by a desire I cannot begin to describe except to say that I feel strange feelings of another world alive within me wanting out. Like the Scrat in a never-ending quest to secure his pearl beyond price - the acorn. Like Captain Jack Sparrow with his need for Rum, keeping him searching in every direction. I’ve always felt driven to pursue understanding and expressing this desire.
I guess a better analogy for this is being in a desert and searching for water. It’s hidden from site. Digging and continuing to dig, even past the point of discouragement, will probably get you some awkward looks and ridicule. But it will also eventually lead to the water that lies beneath the surface.
And so has been this desire within me to find what it is I’m longing for. To see a glimpse of this world within - beyond just an overwhelming longing felt when I hear the music that somehow frees me, yet binds me more to a world that keeps me from being content with the desert landscape around me. It’s the knowing that there is something so much more amazing waiting to be discovered that keeps me unable to be content with the ordinary that the world settles for. It’s the knowing that we belong somewhere so much bigger, and it keeps us from being able to settle for the “Okiedokie.”
The only word I know of that describes this feeling is the German word “sehnsucht,” which is described as a wistful longing for something that cannot be described; a feeling of belonging elsewhere, especially if there seems to be no answer to that longing. It’s sort of a sixth sense. And I’ve felt it tormenting me like a never-ending daydream and bringing my dreams to life since I was a teenager.
To Be Continued...