I’m tired of my folder of 483742 unfinished and unedited posts. So, I’m choosing to publish this as is without any editing.


We turn to art not because it is pure or complete, but because it purifies and completes us. 

Those who are already pure and complete (the unlucky ones) may never truly engage with art as intensely as those who sense something missing within themselves. For the seekers and the yearning, art serves as a purification from... what, exactly? It is complicated and remains an individual mystery.

Central to this understanding is the idea that we should never be wholly satisfied or complete. Maintaining a secret, sacred longing is essential—the private chasm that distances us from utopia. All human creativity stems from that deep void. That void is different for different people. Some longings invigorate our daily lives, while others ignite our creative passions. The choice of which voids to alleviate and which to accentuate for the sake of art differs for each of us.

Let me analyze myself as an example:

I yearn for freedom, beauty, romantic love, children, and a sense of home. I actively pursue the first three yet consciously abstain from the latter two. Their absence is more vital to my creativity than their presence is to my normal life. I even accentuate this lack by choosing a lifestyle that constantly reminds me of what I'm missing. Living in a neighborhood with more children than adults, far from my homeland, I amplify my hunger.

This deprivation translates into an intensified experience of art: the music is loud, the colors are vivid, and the text is bold. And it is all very urgent, very essential, and very dense. These unfulfilled desires don't just simmer within me; they boil over into a desperate, ravenous consumption of art.

I think I have a good understanding of how to categorize and approach my longings/desires. Now let me turn into my friend (the reason I’m writing this very rushed post).

I have a very nice and gentle friend. My friend is unique and the most special I’ve met, but he is unlucky to have transformed over time into a conformist member of the boring elites. My friend won’t stop talking about how he longs to be free.

My friend surrounds himself with individuals who embody freedom and boldness. He watches them through the upper-class prison bars, observing the liberty that others enjoy. This deepens his sense of confinement. I once saw this as self-imposed torture, believing it was my duty to guide him towards liberation.

But a revelation struck me: his peering through the bars is similar to my choice to live amidst families and parents in Brooklyn Heights, far from where I belong. Both of us are, in our ways, embracing our respective voids. I’m too lonely; I would suffocate and burn in the warmth of a family. My friend is too cowardly; being free is like falling off a cliff.


I was inspired to write this after reading this quote by John O’Donohue:

There is a divine restlessness in the human heart. Though our bodies maintain outer stability and consistency, the heart is an eternal nomad. No circle of belonging can ever contain all the longings of the human heart. As Shakespeare said, we have “immortal longings.” All human creativity issues from the urgency of longing.

The restlessness in the human heart will never be finally stilled by any person, project, or place. The longing is eternal. This is what constantly qualifies and enlarges our circles of belonging. There is a constant and vital tension between longing and belonging. Without the shelter of belonging, our longings would lack direction, focus, and context; they would be aimless and haunted, constantly tugging the heart in a myriad of opposing directions. Without belonging, our longing would be demented. As memory gathers and anchors time, so does belonging shelter longing.

When longing dies, creativity ceases. The arduous task of being a human is to balance longing and belonging so that they work with and against each other to ensure that all the potential and gifts that sleep in the clay of the heart may be awakened and realized in this one life.

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