A Yearning to Feel

Do you ever have a yearning to feel a feeling? A longing to feel deeply? I do. It’s a strange paradox. I really love to feel sad sometimes. My body needs it. My brain needs it. My soul needs it. A beautiful piece of art can take me to this place, if only momentarily, and more importantly if I allow it.

Let’s try to go to that place right now. If you feel you can (or even if you don’t), listen to this song, close your eyes, and allow yourself to become fully absorbed into this piece of art. Don’t worry, the video is REALLY bad quality, you’re not missing anything.

“Pie Jesu” is one of my go-to songs when I want to feel. While flying to Europe last week, I hummed it to myself for a solid 30 minutes. With the loud hum of the airplane drowning me out, I secretly hummed and allowed myself to feel without anyone knowing, not even the person sitting right next to me. Guess it’s not a secret anymore!  

Did you listen to the piece?

Unfortunately, in our current culture, it’s very hard to get to this place of consuming art in a way that makes us feel deeply. I recently went to the Museo D’Orsay in Paris to see, in person, in high definition, with my own eyes the original art of the Impressionist Masters. Even more fascinating than the actual art was watching the hordes of tourists consuming the art. I observed most people stand in front of the piece of art, looking at it through their iPhone camera, snap a photo of the piece, snap a photo of the description, glance at the actual painting for less than a second, and move on. I watched many people take selfies in front of the artwork, oblivious to the people around. It was thoroughly depressing and infuriating. Very few people would stand and allow the art to move them. But there was one man who stood in front of the same piece of art, centered on the canvas. He was there when I walked through the room the first time, and still there 45 minutes later when I exited the room. He was oblivious to the crowds around the piece or himself, fully immersed. It was more beautiful than the actual art piece.

How we consume art has a direct impact on how we create art. Take a good hard look at how you consume art. Do you scroll by it on your phone? Do you stop and study it? Do you allow yourself to feel it at that moment? Do you take a snapshot, so you can feel it later? Are you the hordes of tourists or the man standing for 45 minutes in front of one painting? Which would you rather be if you could choose?

Guess what… You can choose!

If you have not yet clicked on the song I shared above, here are a few others to choose your own feeling adventure through. That’s if you choose to.

Radiohead – Karma Police
Miles David – So What
Coldplay – Daddy
Jonathan Roy – Breathe Me (Sia Cover)
REM – Everybody Hurts (My teenage feeling song, listened to on repeat for hours, of course)

Love, Erika

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