Tuesday, January 17, 2006
An artist's confession
I am not a good person. I am an artist who is slave to the wants and gestures of his art. I am a magician holding the wand that is my art, but the wand holds the magic, while I hold it out to you. I delight you with all that is beautiful and all that can be beautiful. I treat you to what you have known but never perceived. I bleed the redness out of red and whisper the completeness of white. I make the strings hum a tune and the empty space within the flute resound. I use words you knew, to effect a sensation you didn't. I stir in your heart the love for my woman, which you could never feel, but always wanted to. I am an artist. But I am not a good person.
I house the vilest gargoyles and wizards and lascivious women who run their tongue on every sensation that I put to words or let drip from my brush. Every tune that I twist such that it makes you smile and shake your head in wonder, is rendered when these demons clench my throat and and twist it between their thumbs. My expressions on my face as I play a tortured Draupadi or a spurned Shoorpanaka, is the stomping of heavy feet through my innards making me wince with a pain that is not mine. And when I play the lovelorn damsel, such irony tears my soul when I realise I have none in this world who shall pine thus for me. And my expression, then, is considered superb! My being is no longer mine as I whore it to the love for the arts. How could I be a good person?
How could I be a good person, when I chose the vagaries of an artist's life to that of a secure and social one? How could I be a good person, when I feed these monsters so that they torture me enough that I cry out as beautifully as you would like to witness? These demons who haunt me when I am alone in my studio with no one around me telling me how gifted I am, how blessed I am - blessed with the company of beasts that ensure that I have none to beautify my life while I colour the world around me. How could I be a good person when I want this? I want them more than I want you. I want them more than I want the luxury of a socially acceptable life. I want these miscreations more than all the beautiful women created by the Lord. Think how tormented an artist He must be to send His creation forth with the hope that they will live their lives trying to love Him or fear Him. I want the spirits that wet my tongue and drown my soul so that I can be what I, as a person, cannot. I want that joint which will make me forget and in my unconscious state let my barbarians come forth such that they create what none has ever done. I want those women who throng the evening street so that I know their dispassion while they clasp me with mechanical earnest. And through these loathsome acts - which you call loathsome - I destroy myself and give these demons a greater hold on me. Thus, art is created while I am destroyed, for art alone will stay when I am gone and all those people who called me a bad person lie under the sods.
Let me be so, for I am not a good person.