Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The One True Art


I love so much what I do that it has quite nearly been my undoing. In fact, I might already be undone and not know it. I call this hopeful state my apprenticeship — that prolonged period during which my foolish plans have been dashed justifiably against the rocks, leaving me shaggy and unemployable, too young to retire, too old to care or know better, and full of daring and vinegar and a healthy stock of four-letter words. Since this period began when I was about fifteen, that means I’ve been flailing now for more than forty-one years. Should I live on, who knows what the future will bring. More writing? That seems likely. Fame, money, or even a measure of financial security? I haven’t the slightest idea. I have only ever worked for an honest living — nothing else concerns me. The notion that I might be an artist, as distinguished from other walks of life, is enticing but ultimately useless to me. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Living is the one true art. The greatest contribution we can make is to better know ourselves. What we do as a result will inevitably be art, because it will spring from life’s very urge to create and rejoice in itself — the entire movement and consummation of which, is love.


15 comments:

Aleksandra said...

Thank you again. : )
Ive been taken lately by the forces of art of living,more or less or should I state by art of surviving,olmost gone blind and deaf doing it and all for love......
i love these words of yours as many others that came by me from the very first moment I layed my eyes on one and we connected trough the misterious webs of internet,I am genuinely and cincerely thankful for your mastery only I wish i could quote you often ,share your dear to me work of art...ehhh...sigh en smile
warm greetings William and please,keep doing what you do the best ....Sandra
:O) my wordweriffication is theossl

William Michaelian said...

Dear Aleksandra, your survival is inspiration, grace, and art indeed. Thank you again, now, and always.

Stickup Artist said...

If those kinds of words, structured in just such a way, come from one who is "flailing," then long may I flail. Everything I love seemed to be my undoing, but then I finally realized, those passions were inevitably my salvation. And if there is nothing one can love, than really, what's left?

temporal rooms said...

thank you for this post William.

~robert

William Michaelian said...

Stickup Artist, Robert — it’s wonderful to hear your voices this morning. My thanks to both of you for visiting, and for the beautiful work you do.

Transcend Designs said...

YES!

Brilliantly said my friend..

Thanks for the smile...

: )

William Michaelian said...

Thank you, Brad!

Two Tigers said...

"Living is the one true art." Such a powerful truth. So we are all artists then, and that would explain why there are dabblers and masters of living, posers and seekers, those whose living is a source of joy to all, and those who struggle endlessly to create something that brings only sorrow.

This post makes me smile, William, but it makes me sad too. I feel I have been flailing for decades, and come no closer to identifying, much less reaching even the first stop along the way to my destination. But while I am stuck here flapping about, your words bring comfort, and your existence makes the suspense easier to bear. Thank you for this.

Conrad DiDiodato said...

Not only are you and I the same age, William, but I'm reasonably certain life-experiences have led me to pretty much the same conclusion.

vazambam (Vassilis Zambaras) said...

Sometimes a great notion comes along and this assuredly is one.

William Michaelian said...

Vassilis, I thank you, and send you warm greetings, as ever, from the cuckoo’s nest.

Conrad, thank you too. Although I naturally shy away from the words reason and certainty, I’m sure reasonably certain is certain, if not more than certain, enough.

Gabriella, as hard sometimes as the suspense is to bear, I think we relish it too, and would be stunned by its absence. You say my words bring comfort; I say that yours do the same, and have since the beginning of our online exchange. Don’t underestimate their value, their importance, or your own.

And that goes to all of you who have so kindly weighed in. The mere sight of your names is a reminder of how much you’ve given me, and the insight I’ve gained through our association. Thank you.

awyn said...

It might take a lifetime (and then some, for some) to better know ourselves, and art may not necessarily be the inevitable outcome, but I like the idea of living artfully. To which you could also add Listening, and Loving. Shaggy unemployables aside, one writer's imagined' flailings' can yet often be the cause of many readers' insightful sailings (as in, when what you read makes you soar). William, cherish that creative urge, write on!! :)

William Michaelian said...

Annie, your words always carry a positive charge. You leave the door open and expect good things to come in; and on those occasions when they do flaunt their negativity, you reveal the lesson they bring. Thanks for your kind and generous way.

erin said...

yes)))) yes, yes, yes, and yes. the one true motivation. i see now. i understand now. i begin to live now.

much love to you and yours)))
xo
erin

William Michaelian said...

And to you, Erin. Thank you.