I have been struggling again with the concept of finding a commonality for all the portraits, feeling often overwhelmed by perceived cruelty. Looking at the world after my post about fear and being given examples to disprove my theory. Violence seeming to be a staple of being human.
And I have been thinking about friends and friendships.
A friend laments that we are all too busy to spend time like we did when we are school. THis fast paced efficient world not allowing for moments to well up and exist without some schedule. Perfunctory relationships, superficial and glazed with pseudo smiles.
That longing, that sense of meaningful connection apparently lost in cyber space.
It’s easy to connect in cyber reality, we can pretend to be what we are not….a waste of time I think harshly but solace to many.
So many relationships seem based on commonality. But after my conversation today with my friend, I see the glaring differences in my friendships. Age, Background, nationality, passions, beliefs, pastimes – I dont really share any of these things with my friends.
(I refuse to count drinking as a pastime, but living here, it is almost a national sport!)
I think about hurtful things my friends have done to me, betrayals felt, times when they were needed and they were not there. I remember the first time…..there were others and then there were always other friends that would step up in those times of need. But I am still friends with those who let me down….I am still friends with those who dont share my beliefs, or passions.
I suppose after all this time, there are people who exist in my life, that are there, indelible if you like, and I realise that underneath all the petty upsets or even deep cuts, what exists, what breathes and what maintains the connection is a genuine caring.
SOmehow the people who populate my life I care about. And I am incredibly lucky to have so many people who I genuinely call friends, who I could call and know that they may or may not be able to help me at that moment, but that they would actually care about what happens to me
And I may or may not be able to help them in their time of need, but I genuinely want what is right for them. And for me as the artist of the portraits, maybe thats all I need to pull it together conceptually in my mind – an understanding that the commonality is what I feel at root about the people I am portraying. And strangers too, who are not perfect and certainly not always with my best interest at heart, and who may or may not do things to help/ or hurt me, somehow I still care for them.
I think that is the point about being human. Is understanding that we are all flawed. ANd though those flaws can hurt beyond anything and betrayal can feel like death, at root there is something so vulnerable and frail about all of us, that cant be denied. And in acknowledging that, we can reconnect again to the humanity of each person.
There is no excuse for bad behaviour and we DO have choices about who we let into our lives, but I believe it is somewhat foolish to not recognise the broken pieces in our brothers and sisters and understand that they may not always put us first. And maybe by loving myself even though I have hurt and betrayed- recognising my broken pieces – I can find a compassion for others.
Its all about perspective.
when you are in it….you cant see
but maybe from above, looking from afar its easier to see the pattern and connections and it just doesnt feel so hard to breathe………