Skip to main content

Sympathy Pains

Most every woman who has ever been pregnant understands the concept of sympathy pains whether from a husband or sometimes a family member. My mom jokes that her nephew (my second eldest cousin) experienced sympathy pains for Mom while she was pregnant with me. Sometimes if we or a loved one is in pain, all we want to do is have the pain taken away, but it isn't always the case. Often, we simply require a warm cup of tea to settle ourselves, and proceed.

It's interesting to me, how much the arts depend upon sympathy pains - those times that bring artists together to support one another. The New Testament calls it bearing one another's burdens, and some churches do this well; some not so well when considering artists among them.

Within the arts community, being a solitary artist is impossible so far as how long it can be sustained. By limiting our interactions from people and places, we limit impute into our creativity as well as the sharpening from others.

In college, one of my professors likened writers to a bee or a spider: the bee travels out to find nourishment whereas the spider spins from within itself. While we need the solitude to create, therefore, we artists often seem to be like a spider - creating from nowhere - we are mostly bees traveling out to find information, collect tidbits, and process it into something beautiful and
nutritious. Yet, by traveling out around to find inspiration, we often expose ourselves to pain.
Added to the exposure to pain, artists can be, by nature, less resilient to other's pain. Sometimes this expresses itself in a strong sense of justice, sometimes it comes across as a person who cannot take criticism. For some artists, a hard barrier is placed around their hearts, effectively creating a protective layer.

The question becomes for many artists, how do we take our sympathy pains and turn them into something productive?

For some of us, it is easy: we live in a community where we can plug-in immediately be it in a rescue home, church, or community outreach location. For others, it becomes difficult because we either live in a community where few locations exist. Short of moving, there are ways that we can utilize the pain for good.

Five Ways to Change
  1. Join a group in your particular field. Since many people have some online connection, even if we have no immediate physical location, we can connect online. For many places, we can connect online to find fellow artists in our local areas.
  2. Check out the art societies. In my small town, I have no artist society, but in the neighboring larger town (actually, a small city), I do. In the next two larger cities (Buffalo and Rochester) there are more societies, including ones for specific crafts such as weaving. If you live a good distance away from a group, sometimes they offer a discounted rate for distance travel.
  3. Start your own group. If you cannot find a group in your area or one that focuses on what you need, start your own. Advertise, blog and proceed. Sometimes it seems as no one wants to help, but often they simply need to learn about it. If you have friends who are artists, begin there.
  4. Find another group. Sometimes, it isn't an arts group that we need, but a group more focused on a particular location or subject. Most communities will have some sort of religious organization or other needs-based organizations where artists can utilize their gifts.
  5. Mentor. It can be a hard path, but sometimes, the ability to help a new artist grow (not necessarily younger artist) can be what starts a change. In this case, instead of having others come alongside you, by helping others miss the mistakes you had, you can support the arts.
It isn't easy finding someone to come along side the arts, but often times finding one other artist to help support you, and one you support, can be what you need to not only help yourselves, but help your community and eventually others.


Popular posts from this blog

Chapter Four - The Board and Council

The town center was the oldest and grayest part of the town, though, even there the buildings were still colorful with the stone buildings being blue-gray, pink-gray and lavender-gray. In the center of town, marking the absolute center of the town, was a park area with a fountain in the center, the fountain led down into an underground grotto which was currently overflowing with people not unlike the fountain above it. “Looks like it’s connected,” Ramses said. “I think Mederei said it was had healing properties.” “That would be the place to look for the tapestries.” “Mama,” a child whispered loudly. Why was it when children whispered they yelled? “Why is that man so brown?” “Shh, honey, he’s probably from the capital region.” “No, Mama, they’re black, he isn’t. He’s brown, and scary looking.” The boy, blonde haired and blue eyed like his mother, was probably from the town. It was said that on the Isle of Caergwl├ón, the darkest were those in the capital and from there, they lost their color…

Chapter Nineteen - Negotiations

And we're back! Apparently my computer was sick, needed a reboot and now I'm in the process of organizing it all over again. Ah well. 

She was annoyingly brilliant, stubborn and naive; he was equally brilliant and stubborn, but not as naive. Kiango and Mederei were too valuable to the kingdom to remain in constant battles, but that's where they often found themselves. Both trying to solve a problem to help their families, friends or kingdom, but often going about it the completely opposite ways. Both had the power and prestige related to their families, and both wielded that power in strange and unusual ways. Kiango used his influence to lead the younger members of the society, but unlike other members of the royal family, had little magic. Mederei's magical power had to remain regulated and hidden because of the rules. How much of Mederei's ability Kiango knew about though ... They would always remain in conflict with one another, but there had to be some way they c…

Winter Hiatus

It's really chilly here in Seoul at the moment, so I took advantage of my Christmas present to weave some more cloth. Also, due to it being the end of the school year (Korean schools run from March to February), I'm currently busy with finishing up school, and getting things ready for next year.

All that said, I'm taking a hiatus from Mederei's story until March. Thankfully, I'm not leaving you on a terrible cliff-hanger, though. Posting in January and February will be sporadic as I find the time to write while getting other things done. 

For those interested in the weaving, the brownish color has flecks of gold in it, but is a rayon, acrylic mixture. The black is cashmere I received back in Buffalo a couple years back. It's been woven and washed and looks freaking amazing. I think I'll make it into a dress.

Below is a photo from the light show in downtown Seoul. It was beautiful, but cold that night.

Stay warm!