“I quote others only in order the better to express myself.”
Michael de Montaigne
This week Krista has challenged us to demonstrate self expression. For a photographer every photograph is, to some degree, an expression of self. After all, each capture offers the photographer’s perspective on the subject at hand. Beyond that though, as I considered the challenge, I found myself thinking about the ways each of us finds to express our uniqueness.
“The goal of art is the vital expression of self. ”
The way we dress, for example, says a great deal about us. One might think the wearer of the shoes in my opening capture might be a bit different than the wearer above – although you never know what a horsewoman might wear when stricken by the mood to dress up 😊 .
“Beauty without expression is boring.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
You’ve heard the expression “from head to toe” right? So what about hats? Surely they are a means of expressing who we are and what might be our mood on a given day. A hat with a certain style does more than protect us from the sun. It’s also a sure way to set oneself apart from the crowd, don’t you think?
“Creation which cannot express itself becomes madness.”
On a more serious note, we find many ways to express our individuality; the arts for example. Even the youngest among us are fascinated by music’s ability to communicate our thoughts and moods.
“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”
Painting, drawing, writing, music, photography – each is a way for an individual to express him or herself without a spoken word. Used therapeutically, the arts can give abused children a means of communicating their pain – often a first step toward recovery. Many who suffer from neurological issues like Autism have shown amazing talent for art – again offering a tool for self-expression when words are inadequate.
“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”
According to the American Art Therapy Association, patients’ and clients’ artwork helps them to “explore feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem“. I’d say that’s a pretty powerful set of tools for self-expression, wouldn’t you?
“Live life as though nobody is watching, and express yourself as though everyone is listening.”
I chose Nelson Mandela’s thoughts to close my post because it seems to me that if everyone followed his advice, ours would be a much better world. How might you act, and what might you say (or not say) if heeding his counsel?
To see how some other bloggers have expressed themselves, click here.