When we interact with others, we don’t come to the interaction empty.
We come with a lens, a particular organization which shapes how we engage with others.
This lens has been built over decades, and is dynamic, changing through the patterns of our life.
...The funny one, the shy one, the person who is serious, the person who is loud...
In every engagement with others – this way of being is tested and refined.
The edges of our understanding of the complexity of social behavior are confronted.
We are comfortable or uncomfortable.
Happy, or nervous.
We read the signs and responses, and the more we engage with others the more we develop and shape this persona.
Those neglected at a young age are often at a disadvantage, because less social interaction can mean less practice, less comfort for how to adjust to norms and societal or cultural invisible rules to follow.
Ironically, though, the isolation can be cured through art.
Art is a simulation of what it means to be human.
That is, we use art as a way of expressing a point of view through a third party.
And so the medium of art becomes a vessel by which to express yourself to others.
Artists may start as loners… but end up communicating more than anyone “well-adjusted” ever could.
This is also true because the inverse of the above is also true:
Isolation can be cured through consuming art.
Art makes us feel less alone, in that we connect with others through a mutual “being” in the art.
Artists blow themselves up into new forms, taking on new names and forms.
Art provides flexibility to the rigid form of our persona.
Frank Ocean or Elvis, Madonna, Lady Gaga or Banksy, and Kanye.
Through these mediums, we are able to communicate with others in a way that we can be understood in ways we find our typical selves cannot.
These simulations teach us what it might be like to BE something else. And they share in our struggles and our moments of triumph.
Not Elvis the real person, but Elvis the idea. Madonna the idea.
We love them and we hate them.
Because they allow us to confront those same edges.
We cry at their deaths… not because we knew them personally but because we knew them through our mutual simulation.
Our shared story.
A book, a song, an object, a skyscraper, these vessels help us communicate what we find difficult in person.
Consuming them, reading them, we can gain information and experience beyond ourselves.
We can go beyond the edges of our current persona.
And in that way we can live many lives.
Sharing many in return.