I just had this beautiful moment of clarity. Thinking about time, and how art passes through many phases of development, I reflected upon the meaning of inspiration. I was looking through some pictures I had gathered to inspire me for my book, when I noticed that there was a photo among them that seemed significant. It was a little squirrel, red and beautiful, sitting in the grass. When I noticed this one particular picture, I took some time to think about the fact that I had never, in my memory, painted a red squirrel, or written about one. Now, I have many pictures saved on my hard drive that depict things that I’ve never incorporated into any of my creative work. However, this piece of art seemed to jump out at me. I realized then that nothing we create is truly without meaning.
This reverie led me to many other thoughts, which prompted one question after another. What if all forms of expression- art, music, dance, literature and even the sciences- are iterations of a more complex and perfect form of art that pulses at the center of every creative thought? What if we are all painting the same thing, over and over again, each time in a different way? What if there is a greater purpose to what we create than we know? What if every time we try to communicate through our work, we are communicating or sending a much deeper message to other human beings that we ourselves are not even aware of.
As a species, in the pursuit of knowledge, self improvement and clarity, we have been seeking the perfect pattern for ages. There are well established, well defined symbols and alphabets, musical scales, mathematical and numerical systems and artistic techniques present in every single culture worldwide. I think this suggests that, perhaps, as human beings, we crave wisdom and understanding as much or maybe even more than we crave power, wealth or intimacy, and that we are striving to define these patterns through art (and every other human invention) without everyone being fully conscious of it.
I have focused on this subject before; it has been the topic of many discussions involving language, education, psychology, religion and philosophy. I think it is likely that many others have thought about this and, perhaps, are even thinking about it right at this moment; that thought excites me! The thought of being connected to other human beings on this planet is desirable because it brings me closer to one of my truest and most intense desires: that one day I will be connected to every human being on this planet. This notion indirectly describes to the receptive portions of our imaginative minds, a world in which peace and tolerance have been achieved. In this world, we can put our differences aside and the deeper, more universal similarities between us can be properly understood.
I believe art is one of the predominate vehicles that can and will carry us closer to that hypothetical future. Art is one of the spheres in our society that consistently invites and celebrates differences and new ideas, while adapting, rather than discarding or alienating old ones. The wheel of creation and inspiration is ever turning, and we have barely begun to discover the world that we are making!