“optimistic aloneness”.

commenting on the lyrical talent of english singer laura marling, melbourne writer mark mordue elegantly articulates: her lyrics are not only literary, they venture into a dark yet ultimately optimistic aloneness that seems rare: neither soporifically happy, no darkly clichéd. 

personally, i don’t know what is better – the definitive talent of the young singer or the coined phrase optimistic aloneness.  before elaborating i must recount more of mordue’s commentary:

a great artistic encounter brings something truthful to how we feel about ourselves and see the world.  it’s a mysterious tension – an overlapping, contradictory richness – that somehow makes sense without ever reducing things to an easy answer or summary…we continue to seek our freedoms in the strongest ways – as often as not in spite of ourselves – jolted back into awareness by a wave of music, a line of poetry, a painting, a song…then continuing on our way.”

as if to say seeing ourselves clean through artistic interpretation, or even an impression.  seeing the world, unlimitless as it is, through the creative lens.  and in this space we find that freedom because in an artist’s sphere, there are no boundaries.

optimistic aloneness: a silent reaffirmation that being alone can indicate happiness and at some level, a sense of fulfillment.  can loneliness be dark?  absolutely, which is why it is important to have intimate companionship – in the form of estranged lovers, family fondness or familiar friends – because there will be days when being on your own does indeed lead to loneliness.  yet with this beautifully loyal kinship you are truly never really alone. 

with respect to seeking freedom…discovering it usually does come in the strangest of ways.  reinventing oneself, relocating oneself…rejuvenating oneself.  and yes, as mordue alludes to more often than not we find this release, refuged freedom, in a creative medium: music, poetry, art or song.  this interaction with art in its purest form; elements of creativity – abstracts of design – expose us, leaves us vulnerable, leaves us yearning for validation of some sort, and understanding of self-awareness.  what was it about what we heard, what we wrote, what we read or what we sung that resonated with our inner self?  why was the art form so impactful that it released this sense of wonder, a fleeting moment of freeness?

perhaps it – the lyric, the chord, the paintbrush, the word or the pen – communicated a sense of truth within us, about us.  a prose, a symbol of our self – art moves us…moves us to embrace emotions that otherwise are potentially suppressed, subconsciously subdued.

to really put this all into context, i can only write about my own experience: yes, it was a cultural reawakening of sorts that turned me outside in, reuniting my self with old art forms, images and sounds that once defined who i was.  i’ve always written, i never stopped reading and although i can’t sing it has always been music and poetry that played a silent soundtrack to many subject matters that moved me, influenced me from one thought to the next.  an intriguing thirst for my imaginary creative side always left me restless – and still does so to this day.  except now, with this release, this freedom, i’m actively immersing myself into it, absorbing the new knowledge – exploring a hidden talent because after all, creativity is in us all.

what artistic encounter has brought something out in you?  what truth about yourself are you seeking?  whatever it is i hope you are on your way to discovering it…whether it be optimistically alone or proudly together; truthfully free.

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