(Disclaimer: Before I get into anything, I want to state that I realize that not everyone is as sentimental as I am. But connectivity is in our nature as humans. We have an affinity to appreciate people and things that make us feel like we aren’t the only ones out there that feel a certain way. For some the affinity is for sentiment, for others it’s structure. The list goes on. But my point stands: we are connective creatures. I speak from a more emotional standpoint, but the message I am getting at is nonetheless true.)
Nineteenth century French writer Guy de Maupassant said,
“Words dazzle and deceive because they are mimed by the face. But black words on a white page are the soul laid bare.”
“Black words on a white page are the soul laid bare”, yes. But also black paint on a white canvas, and black notes on white staff paper.
I love sincerity. I love truth.
I think that’s why I love art. A piece of artwork, composition, or literature is hardly a masterpiece without an emotional tie. Honesty drips from the stokes of a brush, a chord, a pen. It’s the reason I remember a woman’s tears during the finale of a philharmonic orchestra. It’s why my mom turns to the jazz station on cool rainy nights when we drive through the city. It’s why we can sit in a bookstore for hours reading words that aren’t our own, but the emotions are so relatable that they very well could be. It’s why we travel for miles to small art museums and pay hard earned money to hear local bands play.
The real emotion of these things draws because something in our hearts craves sincerity.
Soul-honesty is certainly enchanting.
I love art for the same reasons I love to play the piano, sing, read, journal, and write letters.
It’s a soul laid bare. It’s all so straightforward. It’s all so raw. It’s a tangible means to a trove of truth. It’s all so good.
But the reality is this:
We live in a world where people, including myself, don’t say what they mean. We never speak about what we feel. Never do we let our thoughts spill into the air between friends, never do we open our mouths that are full of feelings, thoughts, ideas, sorrow, joy. I am weary of a culture that paints faces and speaks flowers, all while the heart lies in its thoracic cavity suffocating from solitude. We laugh with our friends, smile and wave like it’s our job, pray cursory prayers: “God, give us a good day.” It’s sickening. We tip toe around each other, praying that we won’t offend. Hoping that we don’t do something that might label us as weird or different or ORIGINAL. We live in an age where originality and authenticity is a facade. We never want to go too far. I am sick of seeing social circles and social media in which we are living for the approval of others. There is no honesty in these realms. Dishonesty is protocol, it is popular, it is prison. We are walking realities of dishonesty in a world that accepts it as natural. We are not just walking, we are sleep-walking.
Or maybe it’s just me.
Oh God, awaken me.
Maybe I’m the one struggling with these thoughts because they were bred in my heart and continue to be the lenses through which I view the world.
Maybe I’m the one trapped.
I wish I could say it wasn’t true.
I wish I could say I was more transparent in person. My face like a mime showing dazzling and deceptive words. I have more trouble saying it like it is than writing it like it is. Writing is easy for me because it’s simply saying what I’m thinking, which is ironic. But it’s as easy to me as breathing.
I’m always thinking. I’m always feeling. I relish time alone. I treasure solitude. I keep people at an arms length, whether they know it or not. There are private things, secrets that will never be told. Memories in vaults. Quiet ponderings deep in my heart that are shared with my Creator alone.
Introspection is not a bad thing. Introversion is good to a degree, yes. But I have to remind myself daily that I should never be so guarded as to forsake others. I should never be so caught up in my own pensivity as to miss what is going on around me. My calling is to serve. We are created by and for God and He asks that we would walk in a manner worthy of His calling. This Body around me is groaning. It’s aching, bleeding- begging to be cared for and loved.
But I digress;
my heart is that I would be honest before God and before men.
That my words on paper as well as the words from mouth would reflect truth.
I don’t want to care about what other people think of me.
Or rather, I want to care if people think of me as honest and compassionate.
Better yet, let me be honest and compassionate.
Let me be humble.
Let my heart be full of purest joy rather than counterfeit happiness.
Let my mind have no fear of man, let my heart be readily vulnerable.
Let me follow steadily after the truth found in the very heart of God rather than pursue truth in a wildly fickle world.
Let me be truthful and sincere in an age that has forgotten the meaning of substantiality.
Oh God, awaken me.