This video is absolutely beautiful and 100% worth your 9 minutes. It serves as such a strong reminder that we owe it to the world to be creating. Ethan goes off a tangent from Allen Ginsberg’s story of “Playing the Fool” to what art ends up meaning to people, including himself. It’s just a silly poem or a lengthy fart joke or an entertaining movie or a colorful painting… until life sucker-punches you with emotion from some end of the spectrum and you need art to make some sense of it all.
There is a constant battle happening when art is being created that we all need to understand – It’s the “Artist vs. Critic” entanglement. Ethan hits on it for a moment during this video but I wanted to hit on it just briefly today… as I’m typing, I’m noticing that my mind isn’t as sharp as I thought and as I continue to write my brain seems to be taking brief naps behind the wheel or doing carthweels. I guess those millions of studies about “alcohol being detrimental to your health” have some weight to them? Naaaaaaaaaaah……………………………………..CARTHWEEL.
The artist has a job. His job is to create. That’s all. He needs to sit his ass down in the chair, keep his space clean… clean of everything from distraction to a piece of trash. He needs to sit his ass down religiously in that seat at the same order of his routine so that he can listen. “Listen to what?” you ask? Did you? I’m sorry, I wasn’t listening.
The muse. Whatever or whoever the muse is, the muse delivers a vibration… a message to the artist of what to create. At no point does the artist look at the message and decide if it’s “good or bad.” That’s a good way to fuck things up. Besides, it’s not his job nor does it have any bearing on the art that’s to be created anyways. It’s a useless thought.
For example, spell check is one hell of an art-destroyer. It’s one thing to proofread whatever you’ve written and fix it later, but as soon as you misspell something and that red or blue squiggly line pops up underneath a word or a phrase, you’ve already lost a bit of your train of thought, or a bit of the vibration that you were tuning into. The irony here is that I misspelled “misspell.” I didn’t think there was 2 “s’s” in the middle. Oops. What was I even talking about….? SHIT.
The artist’s job is to shut the fuck up and listen. As soon as you want to question if it’s “good or bad” art, you’ve already lost whatever it was that was dropped on your doorstep. If you don’t get to your workstation in time, someone probably walked by and took that package too. Goddamned porch pirates. ARRRRRRRRRR.
Goodness. There are just days where you don’t have it. Today seems to be one of those days. I’m sitting here writing this and it’s all feeling so forced. Maybe this isn’t an essay that I need to be writing but yet a confession that the muse passed me by… or maybe this is the message she is giving me. The writing about being an artist or a critic was feeling forced for a bit. It didn’t feel like something that was coming through me. Is it a spectacular message? Yes. it’s hugely important. but even more important is being honest to her. Is it a her? Is it a xe/xim/xul/zooooloooooo? Whatever. It doesn’t matter what the pronouns are (it never does), but what matters is that you obey it. If we cheat, if we force something, it’s going to lose it’s meaning in that moment. If you’re forcing something that you’re not hearing, is it really art? Sounds more like a 5 paragraph essay. Man, those things were such robotic pieces of trash as far as literature goes. I’d love to go back and read one from high school and then use it as toilet paper. Imagine the papercuts. Yiiiiikes.
So let this be a lesson, both to you and me. A very dumb lesson. If I killed any of your braincells, I truly apologize. I’m not functioning with many myself. Mid-post, I’m realizing that I don’t want to write that drivel. I wanted to just write what was coming to me. I wanted to type the keys that my fingers wanted to type, almost like a Ouija board but with less dead people… I hope. You cannot force what message you hear from the muse, that’s not your choice. You don’t decide what comes to you, only that you listen and create. It could be dogshit (go ahead, I know this isn’t my finest piece) or it could be beautiful. If you keep showing up, eventually you’re going to hit one out of the park. Maybe it’ll be 20 years from now or maybe it’ll be tomorrow. That’s not for me to decide. I just need to keep writing and showing up to listen.
SWING and a miss. /Shrug
Oh well… See you tomorrow.