It is fascinating how it paradoxically takes a great deal of reflection and detachment from oneself in order to experience or understand oneself in one's full tangible entirety. By associative means, we find the meanings and values to things that matter to us. We patronise movies and songs when we chance upon symbolic meanings in them, embracing undertones and calling them our own. Blogs play on this, as friends excitedly scramble to read what others have to say of a common activity in order to relive experiences in the words of others. How often have we had that immense sensation of deja vu, of intimacy, with a form of art that we can identify with when it strikes a chord with some personal experience of our own? Few or not, when the frequencies of our lives match with that of a poetic verse, a grand painting or a punchline in a song, the amplitude of recognizable emotion reverberates ten-fold with a fond understanding of ourselves captured in the canvas of an artpiece.
Likewise, we are equally fond of defining ourselves, or others, by the things within one's personal sphere. Profile sites pay due homage to lists of hobbies, favourite music and books, because they offer both an expression of the self as well as a mask - neither hidden in personality nor concrete in accuracy, with a tinge of cheekiness when the subversive nature of such proclamations are understood and can be harnessed to greater, deeper meaning, like when someone wishes to demonstrate his sarcasm by writing an ironic description of himself rather than stating bluntly that he is sarcastic. People indulge in forming ideals - of their significant other, of their goals and passions, of a multitude of other frivolous things - and hold them dear because we think, and perhaps know, that these define us for who we are. Sooner or later, we become defined by the company we associate with and, with his reciprocation well-understood, we deem it valid to judge others by their friends, amongst other things in one's personal realm.
We humans are a complicated lot as we opt for the merry-go-rounds to get to the point. And it is this folly that contributes to making us all the more human for it. Great artists understand this as well as its utility in the parodic nature of art, and revel and bask in the skilful manipulation of emotions to excite or soothe the senses. And as for the rest of us, we continue to seek external symbols to call our own in order to become the persons we hope to be.
"All art is at once surface and symbol.
Those who go beneath the surface do so at their own peril.
Those who read the symbol do so at their peril. It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors."
"Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life."
- Oscar Wilde
Drew Sidora - 'Til The Dawn