Survival Kills Art by Survival of the Fittest
I interpreted my entire young life through drawing. Whenever I had a feeling I couldn’t place, I would sit down and blindly draw, and end up with a picture that visually spelled out my emotions. When I was in love with Kurt Cobain, I spent a year listening to Nirvana’s “In Utero” while drawing his portrait. I doodled when I was supposed to be listening in class; I sketched when I was supposed to be working.
When I was eighteen I moved out of my parents’ house, determined to go to art school. And through a mystery I’m still unable to solve, I completely lost my shit. I lost my artistic inclinations. I simply did not want to draw, or paint, or take photos anymore. I just didn’t care. And if I tried, I couldn’t. To this day, even my stick figures look like retarded serial killer scribbles. Luckily, I started writing.
Now it’s the first couple weeks of my second major transition in life, from starving college writer to sellout with a soulless job, and my fears came plunging at me in my bed at 1 a.m.
I haven’t written in ages. The only thing I have energy for lately is figuring out how I’m going to spend my newly-acquired money. Writing a little blog seems silly and extraneous. Is it going to happen to me again? Because I’m not ready for this to be over.
And, like a robot, I got out of bed. I smoked a cigarette in the backyard. I sat down, and I wrote this:
Writing is a generous thing to do with the information we’re given; instead of holding onto it, we throw it back out into the world and hope that the landing is pretty. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not necessarily because we want to save this theory, lesson, this slice of time, forever. Sometimes we put it down on paper because it allows us to forget. We let the world pour through us, and we move on.
This makes us bad at things like Trivial Pursuit. Oh, and survival. Survival dictates we store information for when we need it. We need to have a wealth of information to draw upon to hold a job, to navigate the highways, to be citizens of the world; we need to be more than just conduits. We can’t always give into our writing urges. We get into this habit of hoarding. And then we never let it go.
I can only hope the information I’m holding onto is fermenting into something delicious and worth sharing. Please god, don’t let me lose it; or at least give me a music career next. Actually yeah, let’s just have that music career.