I think that process of persona building, admitted or not, is one of the essential elements of human interaction. It's funny, though, that most people don't like to talk about it in a clear manner; it's avoided because it implies inauthenticity and obvious begging for attention. I mean, on some level everything we do is simply asking for attention. We don't like to admit that and most of us spend our lives trying to conceal this fact. When you meet people who are clearly begging for attention in the most obvious way, it can either be really interesting or really embarrassing, usually the latter, so it's clear why people keep this process a secret.
“They were sitting side by side on the dusty floor. He pulled her closer against him. Her head rested on his shoulder, the pleasant smell of her hair conquering the pigeon dung. She was very young, he thought, she still expected something from life, she did not understand that to push an inconvenient person over a cliff solves nothing.”
Excerpt From: Orwell, George. “1984.”
Art isn't explanation. Art is what an artist does, not what an artist explains.
Ursula K. Le Guin
“The dangers of life are infinite, and among them is safety.”
- Johann von Goethe
There is a crime here that goes beyond denunciation. There is a sorrow here that weeping cannot symbolize. There is a failure here that topples all our success. The fertile earth, the straight tree rows, the sturdy trunks, and the ripe fruit. And children dying of pellagra must die because a profit cannot be taken from an orange. And coroners must fill in the certificates-died of manutrition-because the food must rot, must be forced to rot.
The Grapes of Wrath - 477
Mystery & Secrecy
I have grown to love secrecy. It seems to be the one thing that can make modern Life mysterious or marvelous to us. The commonest thing is delightful if one only hides it. When I leave town now I never tell my people where I am going. If I did, I would lose all my pleasure. It is a silly habit, I dare say, but somehow it seems to bring a great deal of romance into one's life.
- The Picture of Dorian Gray
There is a fatality about all physical and intellectual distinction, the sort of fatality that seems to dog through history the faltering steps of kings. It is better not to be different from one’s fellows. The ugly and the stupid have the best of it in this world. They can sit at their ease and gape at the play. If they know nothing of victory, they are at least spared the knowledge of defeat. They live as we all should live—undisturbed, indifferent, and without disquiet. They neither bring ruin upon others, nor ever receive it from alien hands. Your rank and wealth, Harry; my brains, such as they are—my art, whatever it may be worth; Dorian Gray’s good looks—we shall all suffer for what the gods have given us, suffer terribly.”
- The Picture of Dorian Gray
It is a sad thing to think of, but there is no doubt that genius lasts longer than beauty. That accounts for the fact that we all take such pains to over-educate ourselves. In the wild struggle for existence, we want to have something that endures, and so we fill our minds with rubbish and facts, in the silly hope of keeping our place. The thoroughly well-informed man—that is the modern ideal. And the mind of the thoroughly well-informed man is a dreadful thing. It is like a bric-à-brac shop, all monsters and dust, with everything priced above its proper value. p. 20
Talent is merely one of those convenient worlds (like gifted or endowed) that we use after someone has become accomplished [..] The exceptional skill we label as talent is not a single capability. It is a complex mixture of motive, curiosity, receptivity, intelligence, perception, sensitivity, expert teaching, perseverance, problem solving skills, timing, sheer luck, and countless other things.
Richard Schmid - Alla Prima (9)
If you struggle a little bit or a lot with oversharing this checklist might help. Ask yourself these questions:
- why am I sharing this?
- What outcome am I hoping for?
- What emotions am I experiencing?
- Do my intentions around sharing align with my values?
- Is there an outcome, a response, or a lack of a response that will hurt my feelings?
- Is this sharing in the service of connection?
- Am I genuinely asking the people in my life for what I need?
From Daring Greatly
I mean, you can basically picky any affectations you want in life. Our culture is pretty tolerant. If you want to walk around dressed like a seventeenth-century Cavalier, you can do it, but very few people are doing it. [...] I understand that it's mostly because of conformity that people are less outlandish; we are all conformists by nature and it's very hard to step outside of it. [...] But the funny thing is you can overcome that fear of embarrassment fairly easily, because honestly, nobody really does care the slightest bit what you do in life! Most people are worried about standing out, but listen -- nobody cares! [...] You can be the biggest sissy, the craziest punk rocker, the most outlandish fop... and people can't be bothered to even remember your name the next time they see you.
- Seth: Conversations
Writing is a risky bidness. No guarantees. You have to take the chance. I'm happy to take it. I love taking it. So my stuff gets misread, misunderstood, misinterpreted -- so what? If it's the real stuff, it will survive almost any abuse other than being ignored, disappeared, not read.
Ursula K. Le Guin