My Love, my heart, my home,
My art does not speak to you, I have failed.
I seek some empathy for today is the 82nd day since the theatres have gone dark, and many more days of darkness are ahead of us, even as the rest of you begin to step out into a new normal. The time remains dark for us, and we’re desperate for light. But instead of thinking about that, I have sent out the horsemen to fight a battle of opinion, using truth as the weapon.
I am sorry that I have pushed us into a dead end with my response, by ignoring your blindness, our blindness, by insisting that by a uni-dimensional standard, I am worthy.
And, so, now, I ask, what if, what you say is true?
The truth is hard to swallow, but what if it is true? My work competes on fame and value. My work steps on the environment for gain. My work sends the ego out to spar with those of others. I dream of walking with giants, striding amongst the clouds of beauty and awe, lofty in glory. My productivity does not speak to you, does not help you to experience the sublime, to free you from your prisons of truths, does not sooth the ugliness of being, or help shine a light towards hope. At times, I have willingly served as an opiate at best, an engineered distraction, glory and money in exchange for illusions of creativity and uncensored freedom.
Yes, what if this is the truth? So I will look at my failure.
Now, if you’ll allow me to bring the conversation off of myself, to us. Can I use that word, “us”? Because I don’t see me as separate from you.
My love, if all we value are the services that support our individual lives, ourselves in isolation, our day-to-day comfort, how fucked are we?
Is the physical body the most important aspect of our living being, such that the skill of the doctor is valued most, above spiritual, above psychological, above even learning – the millennial old tool of our survival?
Is the noble hawker, the great slave to our need of cheap, quick meals, our source of immediate sustenance, more important than the farmer whose care for the Earth bears our supply of food?
Is the cleaner and garbage collector, the sanitiser of our lives, the ones who clean up our filth, sweeping away the ugly truths of our destruction and chaos, more important than those who lobby so hard to turn our heads back to confront the ugliest of ourselves?
What about the priest or the shaman? The rank that has been given birth and life only matters because we die. I, too, fear the march into the inevitable, but it is much easier with guidance than denial. And religion helps Order when law doesn’t, but I suppose that’s not really essential when Death comes now as a surprise, a sneeze and a mask away.
How about the mathematicians, those who help us make sense of the world, the natural order, with logic and sense? Those who quantify your opinion into digestible values, those same values that judge, that structure, that provide us with the most right opinion (out of a 1000)?
You see, my home, my heart, what is value? What is the price of opinion? What is the danger of quantification ? What is the cost of clarity, of unbinding the threads that connect all of us to each other? What is the sum of discrepancy, of essentialism, when we first do not begin to scaffold our values, to think about what defines us?
Now, my fellow artists, it hurts tremendously, to always be fighting for meaning and value. I too have suffered those barrages, tight-lipped, terse-smiled, responding to “So what do you really work as?” and “It’s a hobby” and “I also can do that what…” and “you’re only good if you…” But until we can say that we have used our time, our lives to help someone heal, help someone find security, help bring order to our home, help Us step forward, free Us from prisons, I think we can stop and consider too, is my practice essential? If you really want to defend that word.
Now, you, journalists, purveyors of information and thinking, your words give form to our values, and our truth. Choose them wisely. Our words are transformed by your pen, your words become ours. That is the natural order of your profession.
Now, my love, my home, my heart, may I invite us to sit, to see our world through song, dance, words? These colours, my breath, those strokes, my form? Come, let us be together, in the theatre, in the museums, in the concert halls, on our screens, in our ears, in our souls, and let’s talk whether this, born of ourselves, is the world we want to live in. And then go out to move it together.