This was the quote I found in my inbox this morning from Goodreads. It struck an immediate chord with me, like a moment of epiphany – “yes, that’s exactly it!” – like there was something I was trying to work out in the back of my brain and suddenly the answer appeared before me. (it’s quite a good feeling).
I think art and love are about seeing things others can’t see and bringing them to light. An artist looks at an object and sees not just the object, but the invisible spaces around it, supporting it and giving it shape. In a smile they see not just a smile, but the crinkles around the eyes that show this person loves to smile and does it often; they see how minutely a smile affects a person’s whole body, the tiny lifting of the shoulders and the straightening of the spine, as if they are being lifted by invisible strings. An artist sees those strings and puts them on paper for the world to see.
In a similar way, when you’re in love, you see more of that person than everyone else does. You see the invisible bits of a person that makes them who they are – those dreams, fears, secret desires and experiences that make them individual. You see the best and worst in them and the mixed-up, imperfect result and you take that result and display it at your side for the world to see.
Everyone has their own opinions on art and love. Some people will hate what you have created and try to tell you that it isn’t art or the love isn’t real, while others will sing praise over your masterpiece or tell you they’ve never seen a couple more in love. But in either case, you know you have created something special because people are talking about it. No one talks about something that makes them feel indifferent. No – people talk about the things that awe and inspire them, that make them smile and laugh, that make them wish they could have done it first, that make them feel angry or sad or jealous and the things that force them to see the world in a different way.
So make art and find love, and see what nobody else sees. Then display it for the world to see – or don’t. Because that’s the best part about art and love. Even if you don’t tell anyone, it will fill you up from the inside and the world will see a person who is content. They may not know the reason, but you will and that’s all that really matters.