Feelings are just feelings, nothing more.
There is no arguing with them, they just exist. You can look any one of them up in the dictionary and find a definition of what it is supposed to feel like to have that emotion, but something is lost in the translation.
Just reading about what an emotion is does not bring you much closer to understanding it or actually feeling it.
When I am talking about my feelings I own them. They are intensely personal because, after all, they are mine and mine alone. I would suggest that since a persons’ feelings are uniquely their own they are in a sense their truth.
While feelings and our truth are personal to us, we feel the need to express them—whether it be to our partners or to the world at large. This is simply part of the human condition. One of the ways we do this is through art.
Art is the act of creation, which is comprised of two essential elements: truth and beauty.
Art begins with a creative imperative. An urge that one must create an expression of their truth through art, a poem for example. This desire is a natural human instinct, one that begins as something one does for oneself and grows into something one does for others.
Any piece of art, whether it be a painting or a piece of writing, should effectively communicate an idea or a concept. Even the early cave drawings were telling a story, not just covering up blank space on a rock face. Likewise, a poem can be pretty to read, use lots of descriptive and colorful language, but lack any real truth.
In order for a piece to communicate effectively, it has to somehow bridge the gap between what the artist was feeling at the time of creation and what the consumer is feeling now.
Therefore, art must always be contemporary or timeless. The reader of the poem should say “Yes, I’ve been in that same place, felt the same way ” or in the very least, they could empathize with the creator and say to themselves, “I could imagine what it feels like to be you.”
Then a personal truth transforms into a universal truth.
Once this has been accomplished, the piece of art has delivered on its promise and achieved its goal, to the limit that is possible. It allows us to understand what it means to be human, an exercise we do together in community and is our highest purpose.
Most adults have been in love and know how overwhelmingly powerful a feeling it is. Perhaps it is the most puzzling and beautiful feeling we are capable of having and humanity has been creating art about it throughout history. Below is a poem I wrote recently to express my truth. I hope you feel it beautiful:
How do you leave her there,
a silken body bare to you,
without running your finger down
her back, thinking it the most
beautiful thing you’ve ever
seen by candlelight?
The answer is you can’t;
you want to stay and stop time
because these moments frame
themselves already for you,
forever in the air of memory
and you are both trapped
and set free by them.
How do you kiss her enough
times to make her fully-satisfied
that you’ve done all the kissing you can do?
You can’t kiss her enough, that’s for sure,
each one as fully-satisfying and meaningful
as the rest, never straining or being
strained in the tugging between
quantity and quality.
How do you not think of the stars,
the vastness of your universe
when she curls up beside you and wants you,
only you, to be her whole world,
exploring your surface with soft fingers
and sighs, curious but always
contented with being right where she is?
There is no world, no universe outside of her touch,
the completion that is accomplished by locking arms
and legs, hip to hip, never even letting light rush
between your seams to split you.
How can you win or lose,
hand over hand, foot over foot,
spending all the time and energy
you possess on the details of affection,
chasing but not ending, having but not
catching, man and woman in
There is no game to be played,
nothing but senses so strong
that they stay with you
as you walk together into the moments
you are not yet in sight of.
Author: Gordon Purkis
Assistant Editor: Elizabeth Brumfield/Editor: Katarina Tavčar
Photo: Authors Own