Artist Journal #28

12/3/15

The city still has its magic for me, even though its reality has rubbed me down to a raw stump. The truth is there is just as much beauty as there is pain. With so many possibilities, one can expect no less. For as many satisfied and successful people there are even more somber and poor, dissatisfied ones. But there are places here with such stunning architectural landscapes and designs that wandering and exploring have endless avenues in the urban sprawl. Yet it leaves very little to the imagination. Over-stimulation leaves little need for the passionate senses and the imaginative juices. It is hard to feel a need to create when so much around you already exists, already cluttering and stumbling over the space it barely has to use.

These pages are the only stagnant and deaf receiver, for everything else has an opinion and a critique; everything else expects and expects and expects, always disappointed by a break for fresh air. It’s easy to be resentful of a well that receives energy while never giving any back.

The flaw is the size of the machine. When it sprawls to an incomprehensible size, it becomes difficult to track, thus seeming endless and without the means to forgive. It then begins to lack mercy and compassion, and soon forgets to listen at all. It blindly passes along as if in a blank-walled room. People then find themselves in museums looking at paintings in order to see mountains. But paintings are not mountains – they are sterile representations of mountains. They don’t tell the senses of smell and taste and touch and sound, what the trees and the wind and the dirt feel like. Missing the best part of the mountains: being there; just being.

As an artist, you are expected to portray this profound experience of life – to show people the way light glows on the face of a sad lonely women by candlelight or the way the sun touches the ocean on its way in for the night. You are expected to produce content full of passion so that others can pretend to feel it too.

As a writer, you are expected to string together poetic phrases in ways that excite the tongue and shake the imagination. Adults need these things to elicit those feelings left in childhood – the ones of wonder and awe – the ones of dreams and hopes. Because life expects so much of you, but gives so little in return.

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