“Take your broken heart and make it into Art”. I love this quote. I think I first heard it from Meryl Streep during her Oscars speech this year. She was clearly heartbroken after the recent political events and one particular leader rising to power, and was talking about the role of an artist in these difficult times.
Take your broken heart and make it into Art. I couldn’t agree more. As creatives, we are often moved to create by our brokenness, our broken hearts, our longing, our dissatisfaction. Unfortunately, that lead to a stereotype which basically implies that all true artists are depressed, anxious and mentally unstable.
But I don’t think this is true. I don’t know a single person who didn’t have a hard time in their lives. Who was never upset, brokenhearted, who never cried. Depression doesn’t make you an artist. What you do with it does.
Those of us who have a need to express ourselves creatively in some form of Art (writing, painting, acting, filmmaking, dancing, even baking, gardening etc.) go through these times of depression just like everyone else. The difference is, we choose to make something beautiful out of our pain, to make our pain fruitful, to find meaning in it.
Likewise, when we experience great happiness, we are often moved to create something beautiful to give a lasting shape to our happiness. We can create out of joy or out of pain, and both types of Art will have meaning and speak to others.
I’ll end with this quote from Hesse which I always loved:
“And these men, for whom life has no repose, live at times in their rare moments of happiness with such strength and indescribable beauty, the spray of their moment’s happiness is flung so high and dazzling over the wide sea of suffering, that the light of it, spreading its radiance, touches others too with its enchantment. Thus, like a precious, fleeting foam over the sea of suffering arise all those works of art, in which a single individual lifts himself for an hour so high above his personal destiny that his happiness shines like a star and appears to all who see it as something eternal and as a happiness of their own.”
Let’s keep creating!