I don’t mean sadness as much as I mean the obsession with it. Once, on the wrong edge of a bridge, a boy I knew who played songs let his feet slip off. I found a tape of his after he was gone, and the music sounded sweeter, or at least I told myself it did. What I really want to do is say that life is impossible, and the lie we tell ourselves is that it is too short. Life, if anything, is too long. We accumulate too much along the way. Too many heartbreaks, too many funerals, too many physical setbacks. It’s a miracle any of us survive at all. I know that I stopped thinking about extreme grief as the sole vehicle for great art when the grief started to take people with it. And I get it. The tortured artist is the artist that gets remembered for all time, particularly if they either perish or overcome. But the truth is that so many of us are stuck in the middle. So many of us begin tortured and end tortured, with only brief bursts of light in between, and I’d rather have average art and survival than miracles that come at the cost of someone’s life.
Health & Illness
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