The phenomenon of Facebook notes intrigues me. And allow me to perpetuate the vicious circle by sharing my views vis a vis a blog entry.
I guess the reason for this recent fascination was brought to my attention for a couple of reasons:
1) I believe one of the benefits of Facebook notes is this window it gives into the mind, psyche, opinions, etc. of our friends that we typically wouldn’t glimpse in such an instant, streamlined manner. Many times, I’ve been inspired, challenged, spurred on, entertained, or helped on to internalize some truth or consider an opposing perspective as a result of reading the often brilliant and sometimes random musings and creations of my fellow facebookers and bloggers.
2) My friend Jeanne recently brought to my attention Kierkegaard’s “law of delicacy” in regard to artistic expression, in which “an author has a right to use what he himself has experienced, is that he is never able to utter verity but is to keep verity for himself and only let it be refracted in various ways.” More on this in a bit…
In regard to Facebook, I suppose it is here that the thin line is drawn, between being an open forum of opinion for social commentary, political debate, pop culture love fests or simple informational exchange on one hand, and on the other, being a platform for artistic expression.
I believe the hodgepodge nature of Facebook notes causes a thin line to be drawn between art and life. The beauty of facebook notes for poets and writers out there is that there is an immediate audience and immediate feedback. The downside, however, is that when poetry and creative writing intermingle with social commentary and personal opinions in Facebook notes, a type of illusion is created: that the poem or short story is, down to every last iota and brush stroke, an exact transposition of the artist’s personal truth.
I love this idea of the “law of delicacy” because it frees the artist to avoid being bound to whatever actual reality in which the art is based. Under the law of delicacy, the aspiring artist takes a step beyond mere “personal expression” into the actual realm of ART.
As a dabbling songwriter and writer, I find that it is often multiple emotional, inspirational threads in my life that coalesce to form the Vision. It is not any one incident or relationship or person that “inspires.” It’s countless impressions, perceptions and experiences that every once in awhile beautifully collide, giving us eyes to see the Vision, and the tangible means to free that Vision into pen and paper or lyric and melody via the tools of hyperbole or metaphor or meter or structure or narrative, much like Michelangelo sitting for days upon days in front of a plain slab of marble before he finally “saw” the angel within that must simply be freed and chiseled out.
And because of its inherent complexity, the source of inspiration may be analyzed and conjectured, but never quantified or settled upon.
After watching Finding Neverland (one of my favorite movies) the other night, this was made even more obvious to me. Whether or not the scenes portrayed in the film are based on actual experiences that J.M. Barrie had, it is interesting to see the translation of stark, tragic but poignant reality into the whimsical and imaginative world of Peter Pan.
It became glaringly obvious to me, that there IS an imaginative leap that occurs. Though we may never precisely know the “verity” of Barrie’s emotional and psychological landscape, he nevertheless allowed that landscape to be refracted through the beautiful, timeless lens of Neverland.
And it is this “law of delicacy” that helps the artist walk the thin line between self-indulgent honesty and false contrivances, making that imaginative leap from inspiration into art.