Wednesday, February 18, 2004

The Art Warrior

If you want to be an artist, my friend, you have to not take the easy way out. You have to fight against your own desire to be lazy, to go for the quick and fast, to take the path of least resistance, and you have to struggle. It is work to be an artist, and not just an artist, but a person who is actively leading their own lives. It's hard.

Resist. Struggle. Work.

Is this the life I have chosen for myself? Is this the way I want to keep it up? Because this is what I am consigning myself to, a life of struggle and hard work. Resistance. Fighting. Wow. I'm getting tired just thinking of it. No wonder I have to make myself sit down in front of the computer. No wonder my novel is languishing in the nowhere land that is inside my head. No wonder I look at my art and all I can think of is what I haven't done.

There is another way to look at this, this life's work, this life's passion. There must be a way to frame it so it doesn't always seem as if I have to fight fight fight to let it come to light.

Is it work? Writing, painting, creating? Is it WORK? It isn't always easy, but is it like punching the clock? Is it like tending bar? Is it like that? It feels more precious than working in a Gap folding tshirts. More like it is a thing coming up from below, trying to be born. A thing worth doing. A thing that is woven together of the stuff that I am made of.

I don't want to look at it as if it is a grind that I HAVE to do. Something to dread. It's not a day job. Instead, to me, creating and all that comes with it is something that is holy. And truly, it is something that I need to do for me, in order to feel complete and full in my own life.

Really, I've got to get over my own fear of putting in all that energy and time that it takes-- maybe that's what I'm talking about when I say it's hard work. Really I've got to get over my fear of not doing it right, and of not being good enough.

You know what? You've got to be BRAVE to be an artist. Brave and strong. You've got to be a fricking warrior.


Monday, February 16, 2004

L. O. V. E.

Love. According to all the rules of the English lanuage, shouldn't it be said differently? Shouldn't that silent e change everything. Shouldn't it sound like "loave", warm and crusty and rising with the heat? But it's not, it's "Luv." Somehow it feels like a cheat. It's what those teeny bopper girls sign on their letters to their bestest friends. It's puppies and kittens and valentines day with paper lace and chocolate flowers. I luv u. U luv me. Blah blah blah.

It's like valentines day, a made up holiday used to sell greeting cards and hike up the prices of roses.

I've never been a fan of Valentines Day-- no that's not true. I lie. I actually have evidence of when I was a fan of Valentines day, way back in Junior High School when I wrote in my very first diary how I was looking forward to it, and maybe this boy liked me and maybe that boy liked me, and when it came down to it, the only anything I got was a little box of candy from my mom, and it wasn't even chocolate, it was hard candy, but I didn't blame her, she didn't know what was inside of the box.

The deep and dirty secret here about me and love is that I am a reformed romantic, the worst kind. The kind who grew up on fairy tales and true love and happily ever after, and after years of disappointment, became disenchanted. No longer caught up in the spelll-- and yet secretly hungering for the return of the story, prince charming and all.

I write about this subject because, for all I couldn't care less about Valentines Day, I was bartending that day, and my customers couldn't help talking of love. Some of them imagined themselves in love with me.

Love is a real thing. People hook all their hopes onto it, I think. I do. But how much hard work is it? Love is hard? Once you get past the first rush of ohmigodIcan'tbelievethisishappeningtome it starts to be an effort. Thinking of someone else all the time, worrying about them, fitting your life into theirs. Committing to that person, not just the romance of them, but the reality of them.

It's been a long time since I've been in love. I thought I no longer believed in it. I thought it was all a mad up fantasy, a sociological phenomenon that we have created in this age and time. I walked around with all my fairy tales squashed flat. (Geesh! Poor little frog prince.)

But then, I think I might have rediscovered fairy tales, and the subconscious, and the collective unconscious, and archetypes, and all those things that make living and being human a lot more complicated than science and all its measurements would have us think.

Maybe love is about the unseen things that connect us. That stuff without a name, energy or affinity, or- or-- what is that stuff?

I don't know. I don't know. All I know is that it is not about chocolates and paper valentines. It is much deeper and realer than that.

But what I have rediscovered is that I believe in it. I have faith.

All is good in the world as long as I have faith that there is love.


Missed a couple days here. But that's okay. I've been working. As a bartender. Ah, yes, my glalmorous life. Basically it just takes too much time, and my schedule is wonky. Now if I could go home and do my blogging I would have time, but, with the computer down... that is not working.

I am working on a plan to get myself a new laptop that can accomodate all my needs-- they aren't that great, but they are more needy than I thought they would be.

I at last have something besides my rent to work towards paying. Maybe it will make me more ambitious.