Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Art and Justice - Cindy Brandt

A few years ago, at the height of my faith deconstruction, I was being swallowed whole by cynicism. My soul was so raw, the naivete of my childhood faith ruthlessly stripped away as I was learning hard lessons in the world. I don’t even remember how I behaved outwardly at the time, friends tell me I was not as abrasive as I recall, but only because I knew what was happening internally—that I seemed to be losing any capacity to trust, to give, and to love. I was almost always angry, confused at my own intense emotions, and withdrawing tumultuously from the comforts of my previous certainties.
This was when I decided to begin blogging. Unlike many others, I wasn’t trying to build a platform, nor was I hoping to publish books, I was writing to save myself and any semblance of faith I may have left. I wrote about what I knew best: faith, social justice, culture, anything that was meaningful to me. But my blog wasn’t an online journal where I vented my faith deconstructing angst, (I did that with my husband—sorry honey!) it was where I practiced the craft of creating words, weaving metaphors with anecdotes, lyrical phrases with colloquial internet language. It was as if I had all this pent-up negative energy brewing beneath the surface of my consciousness, and if I didn’t channel it into beautiful eruption, it would destroy me from the inside out. 
It worked. 
Writing is one of the most beautiful things I have ever done. With my words, I have helped others articulate their suffering, comforted the sick, advocated for the marginalized, and in the process brought much healing to myself. In many ways I am still an amateur, but I am starting to learn the truth of what many writers have spoken of, that creativity is its own entity, a flitting muse who sometimes hides even when we seek earnestly, with our heads banging against the keyboard. It was Michelangelo who said that there was a statue in every block of stone and the job of the sculptor is to find it. The art of writing is similarly chipping away at unnecessary words and stories to allow the elusive truths to emerge. 
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