Expression defines what it means to live; life is devoid of meaning if it did not reveal itself – for what the Creator intended. Nature often expresses her temperament, gathering seemingly inanimate objects like clouds, the wind and highly charged particles – a lethal brew that enacts the keenest drama in the atmosphere. Often times these momentary flits of drama seem to reflect the inner life of living beings.
Constantly shifting clouds – pliant and light, take on myriads of shapes as the air disposes them, lending layers of nuances to the aerial realm. Ominous and foreboding blocks of coal grey at an instant, obliterating any rays of sun; widely spaced cheerful cotton lumps, revealing clear blue sky at the next; yet other times, stark swaths over vast plains, casting dramatic shadows as they pass plane-like over the open life beneath.
Expression breathes, and lives in the daily tale of life. From the rooster who crows its resplendent cry heralding the approach of dawn; tweeting birds flitting daintily, in their lightness and freedom of being; to wildebeests, zebras and gazelles mounting the great migration every winter, and lion cubs and wolf pups merrily playing rough-and-tumble in becoming skilled hunters: all of creation expresses joy – the joy of being created. The Creator’s joy of creation being manifest in the full expression of His creatures – an epic reflection of Himself in all their dizzying, glorious diversity of colours, shapes, sizes and kinds.
Survival, the universal tune of life: the fight to live and prevail; also to procreate, in the face of dangers and uncertainties, express this joy of life. Surviving, mating and its rituals – so primordial, so perilous, form the ethereal strain of life. Spring, autumn and winter, come and go in nature’s ever ceaseless cycle, each occurring with their unique colours and landscapes; in so corresponding the cycle of life and death, seem to celebrate and remind us of the transience and delicate rhythm of life.
Expression is also the fount of creativity. Humankind is especially blessed to have extraordinary powers of creation amongst all creatures. For mankind, expression and creation knows no bounds, innumerable are the forms of expression for us. Some express themselves athletically by running, jumping, swimming, cycling; while others express themselves artistically: sketching, painting, taking pictures, sculpting, sewing, cooking, singing, acting, dancing, composing and playing musical instruments; still others express themselves intellectually by writing, building, inventing and teaching amongst others. No particular form is more superior to another. The preference of one kind over another is highly influenced by one’s natural talents and circle of family and friends at large.
Nevertheless, it is the word – written and spoken, that has reigned and always held sway. So built upon words is our world: without words, there would be no governments, no schools nor laws. There would be no Shakespeare, no poems, plays, no philosophy nor Aristotle. Pictures, said to be worth a thousand words, preceded the use of words to convey meaning. Cave paintings and ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs and Chinese characters, both distinctly pictorial in nature, attest to this. Painting has been a primal means of expression, dating back to our cave-dwelling ancestors. What would civilization be without beautiful paintings and art? How much poorer would we be without knowing the classical beauty of Leonardo da Vinci, the passionate strokes of Vincent Van Gogh and the ethereal, whimsical figures of Marc Chagall?
One of my favourite means of expression is writing, not surprisingly! I love poetry in particular, for its elegance and precision. I see poetry also in lines. Symmetrical lines seem to tell a story, like the railway tracks, bicycle, fences and electrical grids. I love photography and dancing for the same reason. Jazz, ballet and flamenco are some of the dance forms I highly appreciate. I watched a very unforgettable dance performance by the Ballet Nacional de Espana a few years ago, it was a marriage of poetry, music, ballet and flamenco. These were my thoughts on the performance ‘Sevilla/Madrid/Sevilla’ on the night I watched it.
A potent cocktail of passion, grace, drama, lyricism and folk romanticism
That went straight to my head, will I get a hangover?
Nowhere have I ever seen such mesmerising parade of exuberance
The pride of life and art emoted in every single movement
The swinging of leg, of skirt, articulation of the fingers, outreached arms
The clapping, tapping and stomping – mere intoxication
Rich in imagery of Andalusian tradition,
The men were patriarchal in their grace
The women matronly in their bearing
I penned some thoughts too on how I felt towards dance; how people should exercise their bodies: to liberate their bodies and minds, to feel freedom and enjoy the physicality and beauty of it all.
Our bodies should be free to dance, run, jump; climb trees and fences, swim with the tide and dolphins
Measure its strength against the ruggedness of nature; proud of the life coursing through its veins
And the beauty it was made to be, just as the Creator intended
Ah! this freedom comes only with a simple life of hard work and discipline
Expressing ourselves isn’t just for selfish reasons but for truly leaving our mark in this world, to give something back so the world is richer for your existence and mine. I wrote this for someone I loved a few years ago. I wrote it because I was trying hard to understand why I felt the way I did, the same sentiment really can be said for the best of friends. I hope you have a best friend you could say this to:
“I love you because I think I can fully express who I am with you …
Because you are the image of what I hope and dream of … ”
This essay was my first publication, it appeared as ‘Expression- an opinion’ on the uplifting Upbeat Downstream Magazine in their 6th Issue – Expression. I hope you enjoyed this piece, leave me a comment 🙂