In response, I sought a way to make myself understood. I tried using art, writing, and language as a way. None of these connected to others in the way I had hoped, however.
In ninth grade, I worked with the school on a story of mine. Now, I had my mistakes, but my heart was sincere. I felt that this story was very important - it was based on another's life and not my own. And I wanted to protect the truth of that person's experience to the finest detail. Yet as I worked on it, I felt that those working with me did not have the same outlook on it. This crushed me. Looking back, I suppose it is because I sought a shared attitude, an understanding, but those working with me could not understand my naive flavor of sincerity.
The situation ended with an inquisition and a peace settlement.
The next year, I went to Croatia to seek out that wisdom and understanding that I still felt I was lacking. I hoped that through a new means of communication, Croatian, in a new part of the world, the Balkans, I would find something.
Yes, I found something. Loneliness, despondency, and frustration. I discovered that foreign languages only make it more difficult to express myself and that foreign places operate the same way as home. People around the world are, in fact, simply people. How could I expect my deepest heart to be understood when I could not even ask someone what books they liked?
This path led me nowhere. Where to turn next? Well, I could return to my roots: art.
I had always loved art. As a child, I drew sketches on everything. I would finish quizzes as fast as possible so I would have time to draw a scene on the back. My journal was not complete without sketches. I snuck in my dad's office to find Lord of the Rings books with pictures so I would have a guide to draw from when no one was looking.
And Japanese art. How lovely. I gave up my hopes once again. Could I finally make myself understood through art? I found that I could not.
Now I am a library science student. My job is to organize information, convey knowledge, and impart understanding.
I am learning how to arrange and how to display, just as a canvas has balance and angle.
I am learning how to help others know and understand, the very thing I have struggled with.
I was thinking on all this last week while standing out in the windy sunlight behind my building, near the creek. I thought about how much I have loved communication and arts over the years and how they have been my steps to seek to be understood. I wondered at the heart that tangled with these things and thought,
I think I have been given the heart to shape the image of the mind.
Information arrangement, art arrangement, word arrangement, idea arrangement - all like flower arrangement. An art of shifting, of reordering, of touching and beautifying. If it is so, may I learn this art, having it become clear before me and before others. Maybe I still will not be completely understood by others, but maybe they will come to see a facet, a shifting gleam of something... I do not draw to make money and I do not write to win a prize. I wish to express myself. I wish to express this Creation which has been made. My soul cries out with meaning and with song.
I am not a Christian because I long for heaven - I simply want to understand the God who understands me. I want to know the God who had plans to mold me and my heart before the beginning of time. I want to fall at his feet and sing in his presence. He gave me art. He gave us art.