Image: Aloys Neil Mark Fleischmann of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan More often then not an artist can feel secluded in their work. An artist can, and will feel like they speak a foreign language. Misunderstood by those listening. This can leave the artist feeling alienated, sometimes building them stronger, sometimes breaking them down.
There is a thin line between independence and isolation.
The artist walks the path untouched, the artist creates his or her own way. The artist may draw specs of inspiration from others, in this they feel familiar. Original. We will share different thoughts, create different things. We are different. We will be the life we create.
I know this, because this is me.
More often then not, I feel so alone in my world. Having traveled full spectrum in the hopes of creating a happy healthy self, I find myself secluded. Does no one else want this? I feel as if I don't have a place where I really belong. I've never had a home in which my heart felt steady. This is why I travel, this is why I am where I am today. This is.... My circus.
As supported as I am, I often feel like no one understands my authentic self, my thoughts, my experience, my journey, me.
No one will ever know the circus of Australia, no one will ever stand ontop the worlds highest mountains and scream with me. No one was there when I lost myself in Germany, no one can truly understand what the past two years have been. How these crucial years have changed me, how they've shifted the way I see day to day life, in this I feel different. I feel alone. No one will have ever experienced my highs and lows, not like I have.
And this goes for everyone. Have you ever felt so alone in your most precious of moments? All the treasure in the world, are worthless if you haven't anyone to share it with.
I haven't anyone to relate to. And I know I am not the only one.
So I'm writing this letter from the artist, to the artist. A memo to the self. This is why we are here. This is our gift to share. This is art. This is life. This is my letter to anyone who considers themselves different Anyone who often feels alone. Anyone who questions why can't they just do... What everyone else seems to be doing... And be happy?
There is a thin line between independence and isolation.
They say the greatest journey one can take, is the journey of self. I believe this is what I am doing. I believe this is what many of us are doing. And we are the only ones, who truly know ourselves. The being said, for a moment I wish for it to be shared. I wish to not feel so alone today. I wish for those who do not understand the artist, to understand.
So, here I share with you. My letter from the artist, to the artist.
If there ever was a end goal in life, a homebase, a happily ever after, this would be mine. Recreating the child self. The child self, is the innocence of our youth. The self who saw the world as it is and not as they wish it to be. The self who plays, fearlessly. Loves, carelessly. Nurtures, effortlessly. The self who remains young in their days. The self who remains optimistic, believes in the world, believes in the self.
As a child we lived our days fully. We embraced each moment. We fell, we got up. Life was simple. Life was playing, laughing, loving. Somewhere in between then and now, I was told to grow up. To stop living optimistic, and become realistic. I was told to settle, creativity died, I was molded into something the rest of the world saw as acceptable. I was living someone else's life. Sadly, many of us are. Many of us sacrifice our hopes and dreams out of fear. Fear of being judged, fear of being financially stricken, fear of being alone. The double standard here, this is much worse then actually being alone. The feeling, the waiting, you've settled. And you, the artist, know better.
We are only human. We are only emotions, thoughts, feelings. And like anyone else, all we want is to be accepted, loved.
To be different in your thoughts, is to be considered alone. So we settle. We, no longer the child self, listen and do as we are told.
So many of are living in isolation, we haven't shared our hopes and dreams. We fear rejection. But I have good news, the child self still believes in you.
Dear artist; you are not alone. We are only human. We are innocence, we are youth, we are creators, we are our failures and our successes. Mistakes and all. It is here that we find familiarity. Where we share our similarities. Our hopes, our dreams. ***insert tears***.
This is how, I take my two steps backwards, in the hopes of moving forwards.
Still with me?
Two years ago, I ran away from Canada with nothing but a backpack and hula hoop. Many of my friends know this. My family have grown to accept this. It was what I needed. To find the child self again, I needed to only have me. I lost everything. I nurtured soul, from the ground up. My garden, was all I had. The seeds in which I planted, were all by choice. Not by choice of fear, not by choice of comfort. By choice of intention. From here on, all I had was me (and a travel sized hula hoop).
Fast forward. In May 2015 I was finally ready to come home. I travel by frequency, I go where I am needed, and so home to Canada was where I needed to be.
Today, I find myself in circus.
Circus. Really Kate?
This isn't the circus with the big red tent and elephants that you would NORMALLY expect (keyword: Normally, expect - pay attention we will come back to this). I never in a million years, could have guessed that this would be my art. I wasn't graceful in my youth, I wasn't considered strong, athletic, I was ALWAYS picked last in gym class. I was the oddball. I had insecurity issues (which makes for GREAT stage characters BTW), I wasn't the smartest kid in class. I liked to paint and draw. However, I wasn't particularly good at anything. To make things worse, I had no one pushing me to do good. To grow. I had zero experience going into this. I was a clean slate. A sponge, ready to absord the world as it was.
I am very fortunate to have found something I am good at. Something that I enjoy doing, and others enjoy as well. My work, makes people happy. That's all I could ever hope for.
So what is circus? And why is my obsession with circus, with hula hoops so..... Overwhelming.
People hear circus, and expect (KEYWORD) the following...... Red tent, clowns, laughing children, animals. Some circus's may have this. Some don't. To me, circus is like an onion. Under all these layers of costumes and makeup. There is.... The raw. Like any kind of art form, no one sees the progression stages. The painter rarely shares his billionth mistake..... The dancer rarely shares her falls, the singer rarely shares his worst...
The norm, see and expect the final project. The BIG finale. And the feeling we get after a show, makes this worth it.
So here's the raw. The bruises, the blisters, the blood, the falls, the mistakes. Exhaustion. It kills. Failure hurts more and more each time. The higher you are, the harder you fall. I haven't not have an "owie" the entire time I have practice circus. Judged constantly, there's always someone better, the challenge is always there. Art is often taken advantage of, under appreciated and over exhausted.
Quiet often, my friends don't understand this. Why would you want to hurt? To fall? To fail over and over again. I think, they expect the finale result to be there first time around. Everytime I hear someone say.... "I WISH I COULD DO THAT"....
It breaks my heart. Because I too, used to be that girl.
Until circus. Because everyone has a place under the big red tent. Freaks and all.
So friends, this is for....
Progression. Eventually you do figure it out. You figure out that thing that you really wished for all your life. Because you practiced. You figure out juggling, hula hooping, dancing, playing. Progression, practice, patience.
It's a life lesson many of us forget about. Failure isn't... wrong. It's life. You WILL accomplish ANYTHING if practiced enough. In this I do feel misunderstood. Those that don't practice.. anything... don't understand this part of me. I want them to. I want them to believe in their practice. Nothing comes easy, nothing that's worth your time at least. So don't give up on yourself. Believe.
The only difference between you, and the guy that didn't make it. Is they gave up. You don't have to.
As a child, we didn't care. We did the things we did because we wanted to. We didn't fear falling, we didn't fear failure. We lived.
I believe circus is imagination. And who has the ability to imagine, and create ANYTHING better then anyone..... the child self. Through a child's eyes anything is possible, in circus this becomes a reality. Circus represents the hopes and dreams of a thousand innocent youth.
In circus I am able to live freely, as my own. No one handed me an outline and told me "this is how it is here". I am thankful for my teachers, and my students. However, for the most part this was all by trial and error (and alone... in Asia... alone). So I was able to create my own guidelines. My own work.
The lucky part. Circus isn't just for me. Circus, as is imagination, is accessible to anyone.
I believe everyone has a "prop". The "prop" could be a hula hoop, juggling balls, acro partner, fancy ribbon, sequined hats, ect whatever the prop may be, this is the key in which we use to unlock child self. Unlock creativity, unlock the authentic self. Find the creator. Find you.
ANYTHING goes in circus (with safety in mind.... don't pull a three high, foot to hand, without a few spotters first). I feel so alive. Because every part of me, is okay. I am accepted. I want others to feel this same way.
I feel as if, everyone in the world is working these jobs they hate. Living lives they never wanted. Married to the partner that was never right. Settled. Miserable. And I'm just here, pissing in the wind. Here I feel alone.
So I will spend my days, doing all I can to break the "norm". To break what is expected of us as human beings. To stand up for every child that has survived the grueling 9-5 bullshit that has become... life....The child who just won't settle. Nurture uniqueness. Nurture the different.
Can you see why circus isn't just a side thing? A temporary fix for me?
Quiet often people tell me I can't
do this forever. It breaks my heart. I feel misunderstood by those I consider close. They don't understand what this is for me. This is my life, this is what I was put on this earth to do. To share, to inspire, to act silly, be crazy, PISS in the wind.
I won't spend a single second of my life, not doing what I was made to do. I can't do it anymore. I tried, I failed at living someone else's dream.
And it isn't to late to stop what you are doing now. Quit your job. Piss in the wind. Join the circus. Paint a picture. Throw some glitter. Be silly. Don't ask questions, just live.
You don't need a reason, to be. And if the "norm" look at you funny, and ask why, ask them..
To the artist who feels alone. I stand with you. I understand that there is no other options. That this, here, is a lifestyle. This is you. Those outside, may never fully understand the passion that drives you everyday.... and they never will if you don't let them in. Share with the world, your art. Continue living the life you truly want. The child self, is smiling back at you.
We are one in our indifference's.
Piss in the wind,
Kate THIS is my norm. Take a picture. I will not settle. I will not change for anyone, but myself.