For all the little that has gone wrong with my life, a fortunately large slice of it has gone right. This fact is seldom washed over me. On this rainy night, this day filled with natural terror, I am reminded of it again. Even if I sit by myself and write these words, the gratefulness of sitting quietly as the music flutters around all over this warmly lit apartment is not too far away. It is tucked in each corner of my heart; it is folded into a little note in my wallet. It is here, beside me. And if ever I forget all about it and sit with my arms crossed, I wish the realisation that I am angry over things that happened years ago, that years have passed, arrives just in time for me to unclench my fist and relax my body. Artists, after all, must be easy and limber in both mind and body.
You cannot sense a lot about an artist’s work. Those who analyse art and earn their doctorates over it have to only sit with the artist, to talk to him, but it is not common practice to analyse the living, and the secrets of those who are dead are dead, too. No one but the artist knows where what comes from, and as I said, you cannot sense much about an artist’s work, but you can sense when the art was forced and when it was flowing. And the artist hopes that it is perpetually flowing. That is what all writers want; that is what all painters crave: rhythm.
You know it when you see it. When you read a book that grabs you by the collar and pins you to the ground, when you look at a painting that breaks your heart in a million different ways in one second’s time, you know that the artist did not stop. You know that they kept going when things began to flow. You know they were lithe and graceful as it all happened. When this happens, and when you are sure, regardless of whether the artist is alive or dead or whether they have been analysed or if their time has not come yet, remember that at that moment, they were grateful.
In this apartment on this rainy night, I tell myself: a lot of good has come out of this life, a lot has to happen still, and it will either be good, or I will find a way to live around it.
There are only a handful of ways things can go, after all.