of Vices and Wise Guys

Stubborn ignorance
is often mistaken
for wisdom.



He turned around in the doorway and let his eyes sweep over it one last time before leaving. Now empty once more it looked just like it had done all those years ago when they had stood together, right where he stood now, to see it for the first time.

He remembered how young they had been, how irrepressibly in love, how filled to the brim with hopes and dreams. Some were now teasingly close to coming true, some had been crushed under the relentless boot heels of consequence and coincidence, and some remained as dreams, unchanged. Those now cold and naked walls, who had witnessed it all, would not spill a word of their wisdom to anyone.

Looking around, he tried to find a sign, just any sign, that they had ever been there at all. He found the permanent stain, left where they had spilt something boiling on the wooden floor, and he saw a dried red rose petal, dancing enchantingly back and forth across the room, following the gusts of wind coming in through the open window.

What is Art?

I recently found myself discussing, or perhaps rather brainstorming, this question with a bunch of friends of mine and I can honestly say that I don’t think anyone listening in on our conversation would have emerged on the other side any wiser. We threw around concepts such as ‘beauty’, ‘imagination’, ‘creativity’, ‘aesthetics’, ‘provocation’, ‘avant garde’ and many, many, more and ended up somewhere in between the albeit true yet essentially nonsensical statement that what is considered art is unique to each and every individual and that art stems from us as humans having a need to express ourselves and connect with the world on an emotional level. And there we left it as we moved on to other subjects.

But I have since found myself pondering the subject and if you allow me to indulge in some philosophical explication I believe I have managed to drill down to the core of what I believe art to be, on a fundamental level:

Art is its own point. Art exists in and of itself. The element of art in something is that which makes you have the instinctive reaction of ‘That didn’t need to exist. No one would ever have noticed if that never existed, but the world is undoubtedly a better place now that it does and now that I have experienced it, the world could no longer seem complete without it’.

That’s it. That’s my definition of art. And, interestingly, since I got this definition down I’ve found myself able to make some rather remarkable deductions from it, ultimately leading up to that

Life itself is art, on a level that scales the universe.

And this in turn actually allows for deductively answering the, according to some, ultimate question of
What is the meaning of life?
And the answer is that the question can’t be answered because the question itself approaches things the entirely wrong way around, because

Life has no meaning. Life never needed to exist in the first place, but in the moment it came to be life itself became and now forever is the meaning of everything.

So there we have it.
Art is its own point and life is the meaning of everything.
Or, you know, something like that.
I’m only passing the time on a train journey here after all.

Welcome to the Real World, Kid

He was taught as a child to respect grown ups.
Grown ups, they said,
are real people, with real problems,
who do real things for real reasons.
Grown ups are professionals.
He thought grown ups were people with a purpose
and they all seemed to move in specific directions
or not at all.

Wait until you get out into the real world, kid.
You’ll see.

And he did see.
He saw that grown ups haven’t got a clue what they’re doing,
making it up as they go along.
He saw that grown ups take comfort in repeating the same old
basic learned behavior, over and over,
like some broken down old farm horse.
He saw that grown ups have uninformed opinions
that they defend with their lives
and carry to their graves.

But more than anything he saw
that grown ups have forgotten how to be
and that all of their important purposes stop short
at merely doing things.

One night he built a fortress under his bed
and cried himself to sleep
with the realest of tears.

An old jigsaw

They sat one evening on the riverbank
shielding themselves from the wind in each others arms.
He was breathing in the fresh air
and she was shivering.

She said ‘as we’re sitting here life is passing us by just like the water’.
He said ‘you and me here in this moment is life’.

He said ‘if we had planned ahead we wouldn’t be sitting here like this right now’.
She said ‘if we had planned ahead we would have already been home’.

And then they both said ‘I love you’.