Being an artist is a lonely adventure. There are times when the truth about one's art can only be found in solitude. All the blabbing and chatter that go along with being a social animals gets in the way of seeing. And feeling. The light is in the aloneness which, paradoxically results in the ultimate in connection. More times than not, when we are socializing, our egos are front-and-center. But, egos and art are a deadly combination. Nothing destroys pure creativity more quickly than worrying about what others think. So, aloneness is key to connecting oneself to the universal energy that is the mystery of creativity.
I am not a hermit or a curmudgeon, though one might get that impression from my writings. It is simply that I do not believe, in this manic, social society, that we ever practice the art of being alone. The din of email, texting, voicemail, cocktail parties, work, clubs, meetings, and mobile phones has us in a mode of forever distraction.
I find that my best art is made when I am completely alone. And the aloneness takes a awhile to sink in—it's as if I were walking into a forest. The deeper one is in the forest, the more truth there is to be found. Somewhere past the noise and my infernal ego, is the quiet alignment with source. It is there that the magic of art can only really be found.
The strangeness of all this is that one's art, at some point, must transcend this aloneness and be cast out into the world. Art, ultimately, is a social endeavor. For if we simply create art and stockpile it, it becomes a big pile of clutter. It must breathe. It must find the light of day. And so, we artists are ultimately an integral part of the social fabric, needing our art to been seen and beheld. It is the tug and pull of aloneness and connection that makes the life of an artist so very fascinating.
Today's image was made way up on Mt. Tamalpais. I was on a solitary hike, deep into the aloneness that I describe, when I encountered, far below, another soul. He was enjoying his own brand of aloneness, working his way up the monster hill that is the side of Mt. Tam. I felt connected to him, as if he and I were part of the same thriving energy. It was a magical moment. I was lucky enough to have my camera with me so that I could make a photograph.