30 Day Art Challenge Day One – Yourself

At today’s Creativity work-shop the organizer, Steff, handed out a thirty day assigned challenge sheet. This is mainly to encourage drawing and painting but those are not my medium of expression, while writing is.  Here therefore I my response to Day One’s Challenge, to simply present work about yourself.

Given how autobiographically I write virtually everything I say, do, write and think is about myself. I am such an egotist, or egomaniac. My work is highly subjective, personalized, first person point of view. I hope I don’t sound too vain or narcissistic. Oops, there’s my self-doubt and insecurity creeping in.

I draw extensively on my own personal past experiences, my views, my opinions, my limited knowledge and my lack of wisdom.

I often flee from me, experimenting with escapism, creating worlds, peoples, entities and situations that are as detached from me as possible. Let’s face it, I’ll never get to Jupiter. I guess that is why I like science fiction and fantasy so much. Other worlds, other experiences, alien landscapes, other people experiencing ‘other’, not-me stuff.

Somehow however, I always inevitably creep back in, the originator of the new realm, the creator, the thinker, the God of my own creation, too self-aware, too tuned in to the inner-self.

I guess I could switch from self-blame and self-recrimination liberally laced with self-pity to blame the cult that systematically tried to sever and erase me from myself in the early 80’s with its ‘don’t think, just feel’ indoctrination techniques.

Strictly speaking it was my unassisted escape from their clutches that really dammed me by defining me in my own mind’s eye. Once self-liberated I started thinking for myself with a vengeance, gaining a fresh highly introspective moody intensity that can freak people out. It contributes to my difficulty in getting work. I’m far too elf-absorbed, self-conscious and seriously minded.  I consume information as a black hole swallows light and matter. Everything and everyone around me becomes part of me.

Philosophers call it Solipsism where everything seems to emanate from and orbit and return to you. You only exist to me as sensory signals interpreted within my brain. ‘I, me, mine’ becomes my default setting.

Buddhists believe that true altruism (doing good deeds totally without expectation of personal reward, credit or recognition) is impossible, as even the desire to be an altruist is egotistical and selfish. We have to make a conscious choice to be altruist therefore our altruism is a product of our synaptic mental  processing, with our egos, our self-awareness, our decision making processes. We should all accept our self-identities and take more pride in living in our own skins.

If I write, and you read;

               “Twalq’x The Mighty looked on the five suns of Anf and drooled”

It is still me. Twalq’x only exists because I will it and allow it and present him before you.  Similarly with my very real memories of my father laughing at the jokes of Ken Dodd, which only still exists because I recall it. My father is dead other than in my perception and recall of him. My memories give life to both my Dad and Twalq’x. My own memories only exist because I keep recalling them.

This creative essay exists only because of me, therefore it I me, or is it?  You are reading it, forming thoughts and opinions around it, so it become you, and to some extent, ceases to be me. My worth to you depends what you make of the text before you. The work is an extension of me, allowing me to communicate with you as if we were talking together in a bar or café or on a bus, but my presence is an illusion, for I am not there beside you. You have only words on a screen. Perhaps we have met or will meet, (again or for the first time) but in reality at present there is a gulf of separation between us, a vast void. You only exist in my Matrix perception as a hoped for reader taking in my words. I exist in yours as whatever you chose to make me.

Descartes said ‘Cogito Ergo Sum, (I think therefore I am)’ but Descartes ‘isn’t’ any more. His thinking is done. He is dead, and the thinking, being and existing is mine, because let’s face it, it’s all about me, me, me.

Arthur Chappell.

Read more about the ‘Musings of Arthur’


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