The Life and Death and Life Again of An Artist

I have been looking at my aging reflection as of late. Only the eyes remain the same. I am searching for someone that was left behind and forgotten. He is a small boy on a bicycle riding along the edge of the sidewalk. Careful not to fall off into the street, he speeds up and follows the curbs and dips along the gutters. Each fall is a chance to speed up and the rise is a jump. Unstoppable and free. Without a care.

His friend is also there doing the same. Suddenly his handle bars pop off of the neck on the yank of a jumps attempt. He does not even get off the ground but tumbles over the empty bike frame onto the sidewalk. Rolling head over heels he bounds up in pain skipping and hopping with laughter. Clearly in shock and filled with adrenaline, he shouts and hops around in what could only be described as a Native American dance chanting “oh my God!”

This may be one of my earliest memories of the fragility of being free to fly and free to fall. But not free to land. There is a price to pay for this freedom. It is a sacrifice to the altar of responsibility. The fines are hefty and are capable of sucking your wallet of all of its creativity and hope.

Hourglass reminds me how much I miss that boy. He never left and he never died. He just disappeared. Hiding not afraid but reluctant to enjoy the breeze along the endless sidewalk for fear of mechanical failure or judgement over the quality of the technique.

Limited in the world by lack of exposure, he grows older not knowing of the vastness and variety of the residents of the planet and its wonders. He forms his own identity. Totally aware of his surroundings and yet oblivious to the reality of a limitless potential. Feeling that wherever he goes there he is. Not alone and not afraid.

Where did he go?

I look at the reflection not from a mirror but as an echo of my thoughts. The landscape of almost a half a century, I cannot help that the days are growing shorter and I am half way to my demise. The big sleeper whispers in my ear and I turn up the music to drowned out the noise of the reapers chanting.

I realize that this is the best possible scenario and that this world is the only world we, I, have. I cannot help but to imagine the possibility that I may still be oblivious to the size of the world and its limitless potential, to my fault.

Every time I travel I find that there are so many inhabitants of the earth existing for their own satisfactions. They must be growing tired of living for the next event. I supposed this exhaustion is the same sentiment that keeps me from settling. It is what keeps my heart racing towards a destination where I amass a vast library of creations so that one day my manifestations can line my tomb. Only to be unearthed by some curious explorer wandering the cemetery randomly plucking out the names off a grave marker in an attempt to create a compelling story.

A narrative of an artist who never made it into the annals of history books. One that never let the the demons and angels of potential roam free through the world while alive. That none would have the chance to experience the man that is but only the man that once was. Only to be buried once again and in less that 2 generations be gone. Forever.

The life and death of an artist or creative is a miserable joy. This society has a sanctuary or a charity for many different types of people. Yet I am struggling to encounter the sanctuary where creatives can go to get help for the bipolar attention deficit depressions that tease out the very thing that keeps them alive.

We wear our crown of thorns and manage to crucify ourselves to suss out the extract of concentrated flow states to allow the release of exploration and creation.

Introverts by nature and extroverts in nature we seek to understand why it is that we just cannot allow. Criticized for complaining about that inability to just succeed without selling out. That business and pleasure must be a miserable conflict that could certainly be handled by a Charlie Runkle figure that perhaps is only a figment of our imagination.

Life and death of the artist becomes a painting displaying the contrast between the light and dark separating the paper from the ink. Dividing the words from the thoughts.

I look in the reflection and hope. Hope that this day will bring me great things. Hope that the world and its gravity will keep my grounded but allow my ride as fast as I can along the sidewalk and just as I hit the banks of the curb allow my to yank at the handle bars and leap far above the address painted on the face of that ramp. Allow me to have a smooth landing and keep peddling as hard and as fast as I want with no fear. With no hesitation.

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