Friday, December 3, 2010

Legacies and Teeth

Émile has become very interested in the activity that seems so important to everyone around him.

My eye was caught by a posted question in a forum I read. The question was simple, but one that has snagged my mind for a while, long before I saw the question: Why do I, or you, make art? It seems, to my farm country genes, and my Peace Corps-raised Id, like an insignificant thing to do in the face of climate destruction, poverty, suffering.

On good days, I think the artist is like a priest, and has a spiritual role to fill.
On other days, it is just a handicap, an itch that must be continually scratched.
Or maybe it is a way of justifying my own existence. "Look, but I made this."

Sometimes this need goes away, when some very significant other creation takes place. Some people teach, and find that their creative drive disappears in the teaching. The same is not true for, say, a filing job. But some of us have it all the time, teaching or not. Babies are the ultimate in creation, but even they don't always make that drive go away.

So, for me, the question remains unanswered. Do you have an answer, yourself?

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