Dear Rebecca

You do not exist, and I’m reaching a stage in my life where I’m wondering if I do. Not in a bizarre new-age sense of self-deaths and non-being-being that engenders ‘deep spiritual growth and gives one a blue-tinged halo of serenity’, but in the sense that I’m inching forward each day, charting a meandering course to oblivion without regard for time or space. Everyone figures out their lives in their early twenties, and here I am in my mid-thirties, wondering what direction to take next. When I was younger, I saw beauty all around me and with a shout of praise, a frenetic, feverish hallelujah, I said, “Art, for art’s sake!” Now that I’m older, haggard, bearded, remorseful and looking like a penitent from the Old Testament, a man of myth who lived in caves, I wonder if it’s too late to change it to, “Life for life’s sake.” I’ll admit that there is beauty in creation, in the manic-throes of seeing things from myriad perspectives, but it fades after a while. Nothing gold can indeed stay. And the doubting and uncertainty which make a white wall a gaudy, multihued, bright mosaic enrages me. Must I plunge into the unknown or must I stay, cowering in terror? I’ve become the man I once hated who measures out his life in coffee spoons and recollects a thousand indecisions before breakfast. A postmodern Prufrock with his Kindle and other accessories, revising what to read next a hundred times while a pretty girl walks past him. A madman with hundred truths and a million interpretations of them. There is a part of me that wishes to abandon art, to say no to poetic impulses or pseudo-muses that arise from God knows where and stimulate a salacious ode, a fast-paced, lowbrow, pornographic maelstrom of syllables, sucking the reader in and spewing them out in a matter of seconds. Searing orgasm followed by messy cumshot. A part that wishes to eat reindeer moss and cockroaches in Noma, learn to play the bass guitar, use what I have instead of looking for the next glowing, pulsating orb that will give me a moment’s pleasure, but a week of guilt. But when I examine that part (here I am, being old Prufrock again), I realise that to live for life’s sake requires a nice income, a fashionable job or a generous grandmother (none of which I have). To live for art’s sake is poetic exhibitionism. It’s flashing yourself using words on a blog, and then flattering yourself and flattering everyone else. Even if I were to distance myself from my art, there’s something about it that induces a sharp voyeurism in my readers. A need to see who’s behind the shower curtain. Perhaps if my words graze the pages of a book, a separation forms, a wall between the reader and me, keeping us both where we need to be. Then again, maybe all this is acute paranoia. I’m reading too much into everything again, making something ordinary and prosaic Kafkaesque. I’ll end by saying there’s a third part of me, one that craves obscurity, a life in the mountains, saturated with distant melodies of church singing and petrichor, a small source of income, a glass of ale and a cigarette before going to bed.  

12 responses to “Dear Rebecca”

  1. Incredible writing!

    “I’ve become the man I once hated who measures out his life in coffee spoons and recollects a thousand indecisions before breakfast.”

    Wow, that line is incredible to me! And, the third you sounds quite great!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much 😊. That particular line was me taking T.S.Eliot and applying his words to myself. I don’t drink tea, and so coffee seemed perfect, and I’m awake all night ruminating on a thousand things lol.

      The third me is the dream. A part of me longs for that solitude and fresh air. But I always wonder whether I could sustain a life in the mountains.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes coffee is perfect, that and ruminating on a thousand things is definitely so relatable! That seems like a good dream, solitude in the mountains. I know I could for sure! I have a feeling you could too 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You write with such passion and flair. ‘Art for art’s sake’ always struck me as wrong. It serves no purpose that way… either for me or my reader. I do not know how it works with arts like painting, sculpting, etc. They might be different.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I meant divorcing art from society, by ‘art for art’s sake’ which is the way you used it here, I think…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No I know it usually means divorcing art from society. But I meant it in a slightly different way. In the sense, that I’ll create art without looking to gain anything from it – money or fame. I’ll just create and create for the reader to consume, neglecting my life and what’s real. Perhaps that’s a divorce from society, in it’s own way.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Thank you Tanmay 😊. Yeah art for art’s sake in the traditional sense (not in the way I meant it) is dead in the other art forms too methinks. Unless there are some painters who paint solely for themselves. I doubt someone who’s very talented will do that though. Maybe they will if it’s a hobby.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m kinda on-board with the third you’s goal in life…💞

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah. That’s a nice goal. Nothing like the mountains and solitude.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love it when you write pieces like this. Deep and oh so good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Tara. I should write more then. Pieces like this, I mean. I sometimes take a break from the deep stuff and just fool around lol.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think we all do.

        Liked by 1 person

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About Me

Ordinary Person is a guy who likes to write. He writes fiction, essays, poems and other stuff.


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