Category Archives: No Answers

Some days

Some days language is very far away, and I realise that it will never express the things I need to say through it. Other days, I wake up and it is as if the room is filled with people, and there is meaning all about me.

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Home truths

‘You talked about *home truths*,’ he wrote, ‘which itself was a turn of phrase that made me hate you. I hated its easy abundance, the idea that anything in life could be so simple and clear-cut. All these years later, I am writing now to say that you were right; the things you said then I now recognise to be true. But I recognise their truth with this codicil, which isn’t a part of me, but which comes from elsewhere: this recognition is like a very small and temporary chink in a well-fitted armour, and I know that I shall re-read this and find that what I say is false. I shall believe and know it to be false, just as it was false in the past. Yet it will be true, if I can adequately command this moment of opportunity to set the record straight…’

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What drives us?

What drives us? I don’t know. To determine that very thing might leave us without reasons to continue. As though the real need were for something implacable and opaque.
   I would say we had an appetite for malice or martyrdom; either way, we wish to exhaust ourselves in an object. At heart, we aren’t happy with having been born, and we will never be more than nodding acquaintances with who we are. We don’t like, in brief, to be.
   We want something we can’t have, and that is art — both its method and its object. We are like eyes without a body, which is why we don’t care so much for ourselves. We don’t want to be where we are. Wherever we are, we don’t want to be there. Being here is very specific, so, by implication, being anywhere else must be very generic. But there is no ease in this for us, so very hard we find it to reach beyond ourselves!
   Perhaps an artist then is not really someone special, in the sense that the artist does something anyone else cannot. Rather, the artist is the one who uniquely fails to achieve something everyone else finds trivial — the act of transcending herself and her situation. The artist is what is left over from the failure to become. As an exception, she unwittingly becomes a legend, and the very flaws within her a different kind of inspiration.

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