Illustration from "Forgotten Realms of Cormyr"

Illustration from “Forgotten Realms of Cormyr”

It’s never comfortable to be the lone voice which speaks contrarily to the group, especially the group to which one feels belonging. The hope is that in speaking truthfully, one might still be loved and accepted – even respected for the courage it takes to say the thing that others dare not.

But often you travel these lengths alone, even from your most beloved companions, and it rarely feels courageous while you do so. But if you can stand the terrible loneliness and doubt, there might slowly emerge the young tendrils of understanding in the hearts of others. Then, and only then, will you see that you’ve been tremendously brave.

Instinctively you know that it isn’t enough to stay within bounds. The soul thrives on novelty. It comes alive in the dynamism of change and works at the edges of our perceived boundaries. It doesn’t ask for permission, because it obeys a higher authority. It takes its cues from the rhythm of nature herself, which is always crumbling into chaos, breaking down into the rich humus that fosters creativity.

The artist is vigilant for those places of stagnancy where traditions have been left unquestioned for too long; where establishments have been exclusive to a chosen few; where chaos and inappropriateness have been cleansed, and therefore thriving just below the polished surfaces.

The artist isn’t afraid of decay – she befriends it. She is an agent of collective conscience – outing the unspoken, exposing the hidden, voicing for the voiceless.

 

Adapted from “Belonging” now available at www.belongingbook.com

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