Friday, May 31, 2013

to joy

Under the title "quote of the day," a friend sent along some words attributed to the American novelist Kurt Vonnegut:
The arts are not a way to make a living.  They are a very human way of making life more bearable.  Practicing an art no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake.  Sing in the shower.  Dance to the radio.  Tell stories.  Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem.  Do it as well as you possibly can.  You will get an enormous reward.   You will have created something.[Italics added]
Kurt Vonnegut
As someone habituated to writing, I don't much like the effete smugness that can be brought to bear by artists themselves or the sycophants of art... everyone swooping and smarming and bucking themselves up with meaning and importance. I don's suppose it's much different from any other endeavor -- gotta find importance! gotta find meaning! gotta elevate my religion or philosophy or profession or love! -- but the blinding and debilitating qualities of such smugness make me want to ralph. The cocoons of meaning are in many senses worse than the hangman's noose.

But where I take umbrage at one potential suggestion from Vonnegut, I agree incoherently with another: "You will have created something." I agree in the strongest possible terms -- the agreement seems to dwell at a molecular level. I agree and have not one scintilla of evidence to support or prove or improve it. It is simply true-true-true ... and I cannot prove it with my effete smugness:

To live is to create. To create is to joy. And no one can escape this life.

Never mind my bullshit. Stick with your own bullshit. Plant a bit of lavender, hike a woodsy trail, finish a mind-numbing report, mow the lawn, sing loud, do a little meditation ... never mind the talk of "joy" -- that's just more bullshit.

Little bits of creation come and go justlikethat and they are as vital as blood ... nothing out of the ordinary; nothing far away ... just closer than "close." Do not smother it with "meaning." Creation cannot be "helped" -- it is what is and any "help" offered is ludicrous ... like looking at a picture of an ice cream cone and imagining it were ice cream.

As I say, I have no proof -- not one iota of proof. But there is a molecular voice I choose to heed and would willingly die in its certainty ...

To live is to create. To create is to joy. And no one can escape this life.

Another voice in the chorus of effete smugness.

A creation come and gone.


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