Bookmark #354

There is a bar with no name at the intersection of love and loneliness. All art is made there. They often say writing is a lonely pursuit. I often question the veracity of this claim. I wonder if writing is a pursuit full of life and vigour, perhaps, only carried out by lonely people. To some extent, all artistic pursuit had an air of loneliness to it. Art had nothing to do with what you made. It was about how you lived. A pencil-pusher adding numbers throughout the day may do it artistically. Someone else may be a master with the paintbrush and still not have an ounce of art in them, their skill being mainly mechanical. Art was about how you saw things. The medium, the expression, the ultimate act of creating something was but a release. I did not yet know where I stood in this dichotomy.

To live artistically was to love every little thing in the world. You had to be on the periphery, on the outside looking in, as if you were staring into an aquarium. You had to make a note of all you could see with as much honesty as you could muster. The looking was the art itself. The rest happened on its own. This obsession with looking bound us, artists, to some measure of loneliness. I knew because I felt it. I am in awe of the blooming flowers because there is love in me. There is loneliness in me, too; I stop to notice the flowers. I look at a plant, and I see a metaphor. I find myself among people, and I see some problem that needs to be fixed. A wave of restlessness, of helplessness, courses over me. It reminds me of my limitations, of how I am just one man, of how little I can do, if at all, and suddenly, I am lonely.

I do not know yet if I am an artist. I do not know the limits of the love I possess for this world. But I know what they mean when they say writing is a lonely pursuit. I feel it now, more often by the day. I often catch myself stopping to look at the flowers.

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