A few days ago, I sent my friend a text message asking if I’m weird. I can’t remember why I asked the question but something must have come up to spark the need for reassurance or confirmation or refutation. The message I got back was simply, “Yep, def weird. Weird is good.” The question needn’t more of an answer.
It is the weirdness of the world that makes it so wonderful. There are elements of uniqueness, newness, misplacement, displacement, and boldness all rolled into something that or someone who is weird. There’s not one single element about something or someone that makes it or him/her/they weird. It’s a package.
A few months ago, I was on a Zoom call with some colleagues and my weirdness was pointed out to me. Again, I can’t remember the context but I distinctly remember being told that I own my weirdness. That, in their eyes, I show up as I am and there I am as me.
It’s interesting to learn how you’re viewed by others. In my experience, it’s usually a better image than the one I paint of myself. Incidentally, I was taking a painting class a few years ago and the instructor told us to stop focussing on the small imperfections. She threw her hands out to her sides and said, “Your painting is this big, and,” pinching her fingers together in front of her squinting eyes, “you’re this far away from it. Nobody is going to see those mistakes.” I didn’t understand then that the self-portraits we were working on were more than an exercise in pop-art.
The perspective that is required to enjoy art is different from the perspective needed to make it. An audience sees a piece of work in its entirety in both form and context. An artist sees the individual parts that have been placed together and curates a context for the piece. No matter how much a piece is dissected, the true intention, that which is understood by the artist, can ever be uncovered. Similarly, people are seen in their entirety as they are presented to the world. We, as people, try to mould and shape the way we present ourselves but the underlying truth, the real intention behind who we are can never come forth. We are, at once, works of art and the artists.
There’s a certain je ne sais quoi about something that or someone who is weird. It’s a readily identifiable trait that is hard to place or name. I think, however, that the quality is a projection. Being weird is not about how you present yourself to the world but how you’re perceived by it. There’s a discrepancy between what was expected and what is presented. The space between expectation and presentation is where weirdness resides. It’s hard to place and name because it exists in an interstitial space.