You Don’t Always Want to Play Alchemist

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Art, I suppose, is when you create life and meaning and intention out of nothing, and not everybody in the world hates it at the same time.

You take the nothingness, thick and sticky, and you shape it. It’s fun and wonderful and imaginative, and it caters to everyone’s fantasy of playing God. Creating new worlds from scratch is about recreating one’s own in the process, after all. Fiction is real life, if you know how to look at it. But for that to happen, you need to take little bits out of your dark days and turn them into soft magic. You need to make the black come out of your dark caves and turn into silver. You need to make emotions happen by trying them on first. And sometimes, those emotions wear you down before you have a chance to play alchemist. And then –

You want to feel good, or feel bad, or not feel at all, and stop keeping track, making notes, reshuffling. You want to feel the rain on you skin and good love under it, and do absolutely nothing with the memories to come. You want them to belong to you always, but you don’t want to edit them and share them with the world. Ever. You want to walk through car parks at midnight, hand in hand with someone who can teach you the art of having a loud heart and a quiet mind. You don’t want to tell a soul, or turn him into literature, or think about how this story ends best just yet. You just want to feel him, and keep him all to yourself.

At times, your only real wish is outside the wish jar you stare at every day, the one containing all variations of ‘I want to make art.’ On some days, you really, really don’t. You want only the world, beautifully simplified and not showing its teeth to you at every turn. You want to be fully alive in it, not thinking about how to make the threats look poetic. The richness of the moment that you don’t want to feel guilty about not living anymore, because you are so busy thinking up ways to hold it for longer and turn it into future ones. A lake, a hammock, burning hot coffee and the smell of second-hand books. Open fields where you don’t have to sit down at your desk, ruminate over memories of long-missed bliss, and think of how best to use them to get it all out for others to see.

Sometimes you just want to surrender to the moment, and not think of what to do with its potential or consequences. And perhaps art can follow that, too, like the loyalest of dogs.

8 thoughts on “You Don’t Always Want to Play Alchemist

  1. I’m assuming you’ve read Rimbaud… and Lautreamont’s Maldoror. (accent missing on Gmail)? Not that yours seems to imitate… just a connection there in the backdrop.”-) Aldous

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