Lonely Artist

She guesses she must be from the Land of Misfit Artists.  Maybe because she’s got that half and half personality–the introspective, shy side often associated with artists. But in her it’s coupled with an extroverted, gregarious, people-loving side that makes her so often seek, and be fired up by, connection.

It makes these long swaths of aloneness as an artmaker painful.  Lonely.

At the cocktail parties and social gatherings, she’s the one who doesn’t often get asked more than a question or two, at most, about her work and her career.  Dancer? Oh. Do you watch “Dancing with the Stars?” Nope.  End of convo.

Her interests and her inspirations, of big ideas and possibility, joy and generosity, creativity, beauty, sparkle aren’t the ones to garner countless comments and “likes,” and pack audiences in.  It would be great if only she would write, talk and dance endlessly about parenting, controversy, scandal, war, money, and violence. Or something trendy. She knows this, but, you know, she just can’t. Won’t.

Sure, her husband and her close friends inquire and support.  But what she’s yearned for and dreamed of and even pursued is a community.  A place where she can go regularly with people she can count on. Share ideas with, along with the struggles, questions, doubts.  Someplace where rather than being an outsider, invisible, she can be who she is and feel connected to comrades.

For large chunks of time, she can find something like this if she travels afar.  But since she isn’t from there, she’s still, always, a little on the outside.  The potential of change is in the air, but change always comes so darn slowly, and too often not at all.

So tomorrow, she’s going to get in her car once again and drive down the highway.  There’s an opportunity twinkling at the end of the path.  A possibility. And she needs to remember and treasure the magic promised by that shimmering possibility of art and connection.  Wherever she can find it.  She’s just got to.

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