“We have art in order not to die of the truth.”
And it’s true.
Somewhere inside the howling hell that was my broken mind and shattered heart, my battered soul sent up a distress call. As my soul sang my pain and my love and my grief to a listening Universe, something came to answer the cry, to offer solace and comfort and healing. Something came to help fill the empty spaces, the places he left behind.
Art. Art came to my rescue.
I was always a haphazard practitioner before. I’d have a crisis of confidence, or get utterly wrapped up in my love life, using almost any excuse to avoid the stuttering anxiety of perfection’s pursuit. I never felt like I was quite good enough, because I couldn’t do whatever I wanted on demand.
I never stopped to think what I could do, easily or not, was still more than the average person. If it was easy for me, if the piece didn’t take much time or didn’t require a lot of agonizing, I dismissed it as amateurish, unworthy. And if I couldn’t do what I wanted to do – whether I’d taken the time to master the technique – I would be convinced I was just a dilettante, messing about while the real artists looked down their noses.
I was, in other words, a blithering idiot.
Dustin’s death scoured away not only illusions, but fear. After all, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it to the next day, so what care did I give about whether or not I was perfect anymore? I had something to say – verbally, visually – and I needed to say it. I had to say it.
And now I am saying it, in every media I can sort out. Words and poetry, paint and pastel, whatever I can bend to my purpose, this calling. Anything and everything, to soothe the bottomless ache where he used to be, where he is still.
I never considered myself an artist before. I never needed to, never felt like I’d earned it. That isn’t true anymore.
I am an artist, because now my life and my sanity depend on it. I am an artist, because I have no other choice. I am an artist, because either my soul creates, or my spirit dies.
I create to live.