It always baffles me when a writer is gone, they will talk about their life based on what they wrote, as if being a writer and being a reporter were the same things. They will pin their sentences on a table with a large light looming over them; they will slice the sentences and cut open the words as if they were dissecting a frog or some unfortunate animal. They often forget how little they reveal themselves. They often forget the humanity behind the person. They forget how to be a human being was to conceal, and to be an artist was to conceal correctly. My life could barely be measured by these words, but does that make them any less true? No. It makes them real. It makes them honest solely because I am not ready to give it all away. A writer’s life happens between the lines.
Years from now, when I am gone, and if these words stand the test of time, if they are what I leave behind, I wonder if someone will go through them with a fine-toothed comb. I wonder what they will think they’ve found. I wonder if they will know what my life meant; I wonder if they will make that claim. Will they tell the others what I stood for? Will they tell me, myself? I wonder if they’ll tell the others, and perhaps, myself, where all that time went. People only saw what they wanted to see, and the more convinced someone was of their objectivity, the less objective they usually were. To be a person was to live with biases. To be a human being was to be something, to look at the world a certain way. To continually reject it was to continually reject yourself.
And if someone comes across these words, these very words when they decide to break my writing down into a neat philosophy, I wish they’d only look inward and ask: what do I stand for? And when they are at a loss for words and lack a definite answer, I want them to extend the same humanity in kind.
I stand for nothing but myself, and who that is, I haven’t a clue on most days. I have an inkling sometimes. I use it to write a few words. That is all there is to it. That is all there is to it for all artists. All that you see in what they do is all you are or need.
Nothing less, nothing more.