Things I Need to Say


“There is in each of us so much goodness that if we could see its glow, it would light the world.” —Sam Friend

On art:

There is always a choice between flash and truth. One is fast–99% effective, and leaves no indelible mark upon your soul. The other is elusive, but once attained, lasting. This is the difference between an artist and a craftsman, the craftsman knows his or her trade, executes it well, and is happy with marketable and tangible success. The artist, while an expert at his or her trade, must be willing, yearning, to skip past the easy layer and dig far deeper and is not appeased with recognition. 

It is like that old question in playwriting class, asked with a knowing smile come by only with years and practice, “Yes, but what would make it worse?” The playwright does not always adopt the deeper, darker turn, but they at least had the courage to examine all possibilities.

Now, I would not want you to think that a comedian cannot be an artist, much as I would hardly dare say all dramatists are artists. It is as easy for a drama, a romance, a comedy, a painting, a poem, a napkin sculpture to be as either cheap or true as any other medium. An artist (or someone striving to create art) has a subtle itching under their skin, something that can become a wretched pain when ignored for too long (or even indulged) for more, better. Improvement is always necessary.

Oh, yes, art is work. Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. There is no shortcut, and no amount of self-medicating, name-dropping, or muse-worshiping can substitute for or dull the aching of the real thing. The “rock-star” or “tortured artist” image is not sustaining–these shortcuts may for a time loosen a person’s inhibitions and allow them past their internal barriers and give them a tiny taste of what they are searching for. These methods are not permanent–soon a person cannot reach that state without false means, and the barriers are never truly broken but instead ignored. 

Eventually the walls will become so high and so strong that the person loses themselves and their desire to stay on the other side. They are lost in the scrabbling of cobblestones, unable to even see what they know to exist. Truth is pain and without having “done the work”, preparing yourself, you will burn up and fade out. Often the fire can be quite spectacular–but the hotter the flame the sooner you are ash.

No, the only way to be free in art is to willingly enter the struggle, break down your walls, and coming face to face with your greatest love and your greatest enemy–yourself.

There is always a choice. There will be times when you have to resort to the parlor tricks–time, money, talent, place in life, style, the bottom line, desire, these are all perfect reasons why you cannot dive beneath the surface. There are times when pursuing the deeper truth would kill you, so you cling to life through simplicity. There is no judgment–but also there is likely to be no art.

To want to be an artist is to be insane–but only the purest kind of insanity where one is unabashedly themselves, and when one doggedly shares with others your bonkers view of the world.

Artists are not any better than any other people (and they are often quite worse) but artists are honest. Artists lie–but artists tell the truth.

Have I created art? I’ve made purely the faintest ripple, I’ve seen glimpses of what could be. And what is, but is not yet. I learn, day by day, who I am, and I try to share. The struggle to see and understand is the point, and I am happiest when the muscles burn.Work is never ending. 

On feminism: I refuse to do things “because women do them” but I refuse to not do things “because women do them”.

On life: I’ll do what I want and the world can waste its time judging.

On the sea: When I look at the sea I feel safe. Blanketed. Because underneath all of that water is land. And it is quiet for my human ears. To be alone is to be happy. The sea is sexy. It’s alluring. The sea can be dangerous but it will ever be my friend.

Random: Was it the chicken or the egg or the ego?

If God really wanted men to be supremely in charge–why’d he make women?

Why is oppression the human default, and why is it so hard to prove the worth of expression?

There is a brilliance within me and it is my job to work on freeing it so that I can then share it with the world.

I am worthy of love.

————————————————————–

“You are not alone in this.”–Mumford & Sons

Sincerely,

Emilie

P.S. Check out my poetry tab for three new poems, Darkness, Dreams, and Skating.

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4 thoughts on “Things I Need to Say

  1. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about this time in our lives, our twenties, and how apparent it is, who the artists are. I think what we’re up to is wonderful, though the “weirdness” of it is striking and just so sharp right now, as we veer off for something else.

    • I think the key there really is “veer”. Now seems to be the moment when people either decide that they need to “join the real world” (god I hate that phrase) or they continue on being themselves and doing what they need to do in order to do what they _need_ to do. Does that make sense?

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