A Look Again for the Play In It.

Posted on June 29, 2011

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True story: when I was in my teens, I thought I’d pretty quickly end up married with children and living a more or less conventional 9 – 5 lifestyle.

My older brother, you see, was the artist. He painted alone in his room, slept in, and wore paint splattered jeans.

He’s now married with children and has long had a steady and highly respectable job. He also long ago gave up his art.

I asked him about it, a couple of years ago. He said something like this:

“It helped to define who I was. It was also a coping mechanism. I used art to figure things out. Eventually, I didn’t need it any more. I stopped.”

No matter what happens now — even if I buy a condo, settle down, buy a wiener dog — I won’t ever really be able to say I’ve had a conventional life. That much is settled.

I wonder, nevertheless, if I will, at some point, give up the art.

The very best teachers plan for obsolesce, some ladders take us to heights where they are no longer needed, and I’m  deeply influenced by intellectual traditions that end in contented silence.

I’m also most at peace, with the sun and the sky and the sky and the sky.

Then, after a period of restless uncertainty, I skulk in a coffee shop and look again for the play in it.

Posted in: Identity