The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this:
A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive.
a touch is a blow,
a sound is a noise,
a misfortune is a tragedy,
a joy is an ecstasy,
a friend is a lover,
a lover is a god,
and failure is death.
Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create – so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating.
~Pearl S. Buck
I’ve spent the better part of my life despising the sensitivity that made me feel so alien from most everyone else. I tried desperately to break or “will” it out of my personality, and when this proved unsuccessful I berated myself for my innate weakness and the inability to overcome it. It then became the critical flaw that needed to be eradicated in order for me to move forward with anything. It plainly needed to be defeated for me to be okay.
This sensitivity isn’t limited to emotions, being even more strikingly pronounced in the senses. Taste, touch, sound, smell, and sight live a loud and exaggerated existence in my body, to the degree that oftentimes it seems there is little room left for me outside of all that I “feel“ so deeply. Because of the heightened senses I’m easily overwhelmed when there is too much stimulation, which of course makes living in the supercharged information age all the more challenging.
However, there are moments when what feels to be my greatest curse can become an intoxicating asset. Joy *is* ecstasy. Music moves me to my core, the fragrance of blooming jasmine stops me cold and fills me with such appreciation I can hardly breathe, and brushing my cheek against my cats silky soft fur can quickly dissolve most any hurt I may be feeling. The list of sheer delights experienced in the smallest sensory sensations is endless and not at all unimportant.
And then there is photography. My go-to remedy for all that ails me. Even when I do it poorly and think I want to quit it for good, it lures me back with a promise of acceptance and even love for the cruelly delicate organism that I am. Here I am welcome. Here I can pour all of that sensitivity into one frame--one fraction of a second when the girl who feels too much about most everything feels just right, and everything else disappears.