PUBLISHED September 10, 2012

September 10th 2012: The Act and Art of Writing

Long days doing nothing.

I hate them. All this spare time I have could be spent planting trees, or educating children, or learning to play the guitar or, better yet, the drums. I planned to write and write and write with all this time and I’ve managed to avoid it. I think I’ve become intimidated of my keyboard.

Writing opens up a million and one possibilities about creating a world or a life other than your own. It’s euphoric but overwhelming. I realized something this weekend. I have always been a writer. I don’t just mean writing journal entries, though that is a big part of it.

I stumbled across this quote by Eugene Ionesco that read: For a writer, life consists of either writing or thinking about writing. It struck me because my whole entire life I have put in the context of a story; an elaborate never ending novel. For that reason, I’ve had this unshakeable feeling that I am somehow not in control of the major events in my life. I do think things happen for a reason. For me, it is because I am sitting somewhere in a future dimension writing the story of my life, and present me is living it. Days break down into narrations. When I walk into a strange or unusual situation I think, “How would I write this?”

I feel so oddly attached and responsible for every single being I encounter because I have this odd, unexplainable sense of ownership over them. As if they are mine. They are characters in my story, each and every person I experience. Everyone fits in somehow or another. No one is unimportant to me. I am so sympathetic. I feel bad for everyone. Everyone’s sadness breaks my heart. Everyone’s successes feel like my own. I feel like people’s stories live somewhere inside of me. As if, if only, I could be a fly on the wall of their world and write them.

People with pain always find me. Or maybe I find them. Maybe people with deep, buried hurt gravitate towards one another. I feel like you can look into a person’s eyes and see how much pain they have. Everyone has some. Its impossible to live in this world without it. There would be no art.

I have a theory that art is the meaning of life. Surprisingly, I was not high when I was thinking of this. I was thinking of the ways in which humans are different than any other species. My cat knocked over a glass of water and proceeded to lap it off the floor and I thought, poor sucker, you don’t have thumbs. Then I thought, hey humans have thumbs, and humor and art. Animals can not make art. We are so highly evolved that we have created something so vast and unexplainable. Space, in its infinity of blackness, can be explained by science. Art can not be explained by science. Aesthetic can be explained by science. Sound, color, theatrics; that’s not what I’m talking about. The idea of art, of creating something outside of yourself to explain yourself.

At the same time, or maybe a few moments before or after, I was thinking about pain. Why is it that we suffer such astonishing cruelties as human beings. The history of the world is a blood bath. There are people who are so demented, and corrupt and vial. Are they meant to be? I do believe in God. Not in a way that puts my butt in a church alter every Sunday, but in a way that makes me have a deep appreciation for nature. I like to think that God, the energy of God and the Earth, have some sort of intention with us. And if that’s to be true, what’s the meaning of all the pain? Try to imagine a world with no conflict. I know its near impossible, but try. No one aches for anything. Everyone has all of their needs met. Societies function without violence. Everyone is happy. What I see missing from this Utopia is art. I feel, it is out of pain that we are driven to create art. Even when we are happy. Happiness feels different in every body it inhabits. Pain is a place we can all converge.

Humans were meant to make art and we experience pain to help us create it. But we also have humor. So at least we can laugh at the failed attempts.

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