Friday, April 17, 2009

Unseen Friends...

Music, books and movies have always been emotional experiences for me. This week I realized why. I didn’t really have friends growing up. Or rather, I had friends but none of those relationships were real. Because I was not real. I lived in a box within a box. I kept myself closed off for fear of vulnerability, fear of judgment, fear of the love I so desperately craved. I was there for others but could never let them be there for me. I did not trust anyone with the deepest parts of who I was. I was alone for a very long time.

And so, I sought out music, books and movies to be my friends. Any time I heard something, read something, or saw something that resonated with me, I felt as if maybe, just maybe, there was someone out there who understood what I was feeling. These art forms became the friends I would converse with from within my solitude. In those rare moments, I felt heard, I felt seen, and I felt loved.

Today, I have friends. Real friends. Because I am real. I am no longer afraid of my own vulnerability. I do not concern myself with the judgments of others. And I welcome love, in all its forms, with open arms. I am never alone. And yet, in my private moments, it is music and books and movies that shelter me and give me strength. It is those unseen friends who make all the difference.

Perhaps, this is what art is for.

tall penguin


WisdomOfWoof said...

This post really resonates with me, Tall. I too had few, if any, real friends since I lived on a farm and was literally cloistered away from everyone. Having a lonely childhood and frightening teenagehood fraught with mental illness and blame, I kept to myself most of the time to avoid problems. Music and art were my saving graces. Headphones were a snug, warm comfort from the hell I was trying desperately to avoid. My first crushes were on music singers - not the real boys at school who only reminded me of my brother's daily tortures. Music was a glorious and safe place to feel emotions on my terms. Art was an outlet for my pain and a place to focus my energies. My parents would never understood what I was doing in my room, alone with the door closed, for days on end. Even on beautiful summer days that's where you'd find me. We're both here today because of music and art.

Anonymous said...

I have a slightly different take. I think that when you are just learning how complex the world is, books and music serve two purposes. First, they are an important source of information about interactions when you are craving interaction skills and have limited opportunities for safe learning (not to mention limited or NO learning coaches). They give you a chance to learn vicariously, without risking failure or rejection while your own ego is still so fragile and forming. And only second do they serve as a retreat- and for the reasons mentioned in #1. It sounds like you and your first comment giver had more normal experiences than you make give yourself credit for. I think most people felt exactly as you did.

John Davies said...

When in my early twenties I felt that my ability to paint was all that was valuable about me I hoped that it could be the bridge across which people could come to know and value me as a person. Even today if I feel slighted or undervalued I sometimes revert to this model and feel urge to be creative to be appreciated for that instead.
I almost feel a touching of souls when a creative work resonates with I and another in the same way.