The Tortured Artist by Justin Farley
Utterly bound by the need for discovery,
yet plagued by the awareness that finding
leaves me no farther along my journey
in the eyes of the world.
The most tortured artist is the realist
who’s aware he’s playing the fool,
but must play his role regardless,
knowing it’s the only powerful card in his hand.
For if alternative aspirations
are not trumped by other’s Bowers,
in the end he’ll be defeated
by the chaos that rises out of self-neglect.
The artist must find pleasure in playing
a game few have the wits to play,
acknowledging he’s likely destined to lose
before he even sits at the table.
The artist must learn to embrace
this necessary madness;
his fulfillment and sanity
depend upon it.
The creative life must never be lived
with the goal of winning.
One must simply find joy and gratitude
in the ability to bring order out of chaos.
-Poem and post written by Justin Farley
Why must you smear charcoal
Over a painting that was a masterpiece to begin?
Why must you detract from your natural beauty
With uncarefully crafted scribbles across your skin?
A stamp upon your hide like cattle,
Isn’t attractive nor does it make it come alive.
For truth lives in the heart –
Meaning resides on the inside.
You are the artist,
But can’t you see your canvas is already done?
God perfected you in beauty,
His masterpiece should not be undone.
Decisions for permanent decorating
Should not be made on a whim.
For now feminine beauty is covered
By black, tainted skin.
Ink is the life-force
Of each and every artist’s hand.
But the page is forgiving,
Our mistakes do not become our brand.
Ideas have power,
Never publish without careful revision.
Because words can never be taken back
By an untimely decision.
If an idea has no weight
Unless you see it in the mirror,
I’m afraid it never existed at all,
Can’t you see that, my dear?
For if we have to convince the world or ourselves
Who we are by throwing it in their face,
It’s time we retreat to the quiet
And figure out who we are in the first place.
Ink is magic,
But too much overwhelms the mind.
So choose your words carefully,
And keep unrefined symbols from your lines.
-Poem Written by Justin Farley
photo credit: Frustrated Scribbles via photopin (license)
For me to live a life void of expression
means to not live at all.
Yet I’ve ignored the true desire of my heart for so long
it seems my craft has become rusty and dull.
Thoughts used to be able to slice words
through page after page.
But now I find them jagged and weak-
forcefully driving them deep into paper,
where they used to flow with life and speak.
But gardens don’t grow
that have been neglected of seed.
I’ve neglected Inspiration’s trimming and pruning,
let my beautiful flowers by choked by weeds.
You can only hold out on who you are
for so long until you become nothing at all.
Trying to live the hopes and dreams of others
until you hear a forgotten voice whisper inside of you
reminding you of your call.
But the artist doesn’t announce it for all the world to see.
It’s not a dream you go out to obtain
or a career path you go down to earn your degree.
It’s accepting the creative voice that lives inside
and deciding to be.
But the artist doesn’t check in and check out
day after day without a cost-
they must bear the atonement for all the emotions and stories
humans have bottled up to be forgotten and lost.
We bear the weight of emotions upon our shoulders
feel them, digest them, and throw them
back up onto our work
and grieve with each new creation,
as a mother giving birth.
It’s a tortured love affair,
a marriage from within.
The artist to her brush,
the writer to his pen.
But when we stand back and admire our creations
and behold what we’ve given birth to,
we know our soul was meant for this moment,
dreaming is what we were born to do.
Photo Credit: josemanuelerre via Compfight cc