Art inspires us to imagine the life we think we deserve, gives us something to believe in, something we wouldn’t even dare imagine: happy endings.
Sometimes I’d like for my life to be narrated by Morgan Freeman. And Hans Zimmer or Brian Tyler would compose the soundtrack. I’d want the story to end just the way I’d like. To quote Orson Welles, if you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.
Art and life. Neither one can exist without the other. Call it symbiosis if you want. And the two are closer than we like to think. Of course, they never actually touch. Or do they?
It happens on rare occasions that art is life, that creating art (or consuming it) makes us feel more alive than we’d ever felt.
Throughout my life I’ve done lots of stupid things. I’ve been through good times and bad. At times I felt bitter and angry, powerless and alone. And the only true constant in my life was writing. I never regretted writing any of my stories. Even the ones that sucked, or maybe especially the ones which sucked. Or the ones I never finished. Because every single word I wrote taught me something. And every word I wrote got me closer to achieving my dream.
My art was always there for me. Made all the other problems and troubles feel insignificant compared to what I was doing on the page. There’s nothing quite like it, and I’m sure my artists friends will agree. You can try and explain all you want, but when someone tells you they enjoy your art, that you’ve changed their lives, that they think what you’re doing is beautiful, the feeling you get can’t be explained or dissected or compared. It can only be felt by those brave enough to take the plunge.
I wrote Mr. Nobody in 30 minutes before a doctor’s appointment. I was scared of what the doctor was going to tell me, of what the future held for me. So I wrote a story about a writer whose words mean more to him than anything else in the world, because it felt as if my words were the only thing I owned in this world.
I wrote One because I’m an avid smoker, and I was out of cigarettes.
I wrote Memento Mori because there’s actually a graveyard like that in my hometown. And dying without anyone noticing is one of my biggest fears. Dying in vain, being forgotten…
I wrote The Writer because I always wanted to be a great writer, because I always wanted for my stories to change the world, for my words to be so much more than black characters on a piece of paper.
I wrote Jazz because I feel love’s that one thing we all desire, no matter how rich and famous and powerful we become. Even gods needed love. It’s the engine that drives us, the little spark that makes us perfect. But I didn’t want to write about a perfect love.
The idea is that art and life are interconnected.
It’s a really strange process. We always draw inspiration from what’s going on around us, and in turn, our end product inspires people to do something about their own lives. We inspire change, in a way that ultimately, life imitates art in an endless struggle to become perfect.
But you know… art is never perfect, that’s why the struggle never ends. We never stop pursuing the most elusive dream of all: perfection.
Then again, it wouldn’t do any harm to ask ourselves, from time to time, what would we be if life were perfect?