Saturday, February 6, 2010

Day 94: art lifts life.

Today I watched Wes Anderson's The Royal Tenenbaums for the second time. I am very enamoured of Wes Anderson's films, although not to an obsessive extent (I am far too lazy to be properly obsessive about anything), and his sense of humour in particular. I pretty much have to see everything I hear about that he's made (note that I didn't say everything he's made full stop. That would involve doing research on his filmic history. Too lazy.). Anyway. Watching this beautiful heap of tragic, painfully funny, quietly glamourous perfection, made me think. Art is cool because it makes life poetic. It takes real suffering and pain and misfortune and puts it in a place where it is okay to have gone through it. The suffering becomes useful, even beautiful, enviable and attractive. It is placed in a context, put at a distance from where it can be looked at with some detachment. By telling the story of it, or writing the song of it, or painting the picture of it, the themes become clear, the lessons become learnable, and the event itself becomes art; a thing of beauty. I apologise for the amateur art theorising, but I have of late been feeling quite a marked sense of emotional robustness, and an ability to distinguish in people's actions what is coming from their own sense of insuficiency. I have not been taking other people's rudeness or insensitivity personally, and I have felt entirely equipped to handle my own challenges. I think the fact that I am writing every day and that I write songs about how I feel about things, has something to do with this. My ability to create makes me stronger. It's a tool I have available to use when things start to bother me. What does any of this have to do with not drinking? Maybe not a lot. Except that alcohol used to be another tool I would use quite liberally to eradicate feelings of unease. So maybe the message is, if you want to drink less, try channelling your excess nervous energy into making art? Oh my. Now if I could only summon enough nervous energy to create something as deeply satisfying as The Royal Tenenbaums...

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