[Exactly as received...unedited]
I am the Artist.
I crazy nimble tightrope between the pits of poverty and anonymity, in brief better times between sanctity and delusion. I know bittersweet highs and lows you will probably never know.
I am a strange stranger, warrior/nomad, fighting shadows in the fog. I travel light and fight to defend the land beyond the pale, those frayed fragments of the map beyond which most of you never think, nor care, nor venture. Too comfortable, you are satisfied with my leavings, my bloody souvenirs. I bless you for that.
It is in these shaded realms the boon lurks, golden monsters deftly pilfered, skillfully twisted into reimagined treasure of no earthly value. You don't know it, but without this you would scarcely be human. I am what remains of the slathering machine/beast you created that would gladly eat you dead. I am the human shield between you and your boring oblivion.
Pity us. Each one touched by this mad spell knows deep there is no real way out. It has chosen. It is infinitely large, and there is infinite pain and grace in it. You didn't understand. You thought it would be a relief to be abandoned by it, to escape, to become like you. But to leave art would be like abandoning your child to the wolves. It would not be a sneakily forgotten defeat, but a spiritual demolition. No place to hide. Art is a chemical, you see. A bespoke drug that changes you. For you too, there is no turning back. You want some but are afraid. We know that about you, because we are the mirrored shields between your lustful barren complacency and your perversely incomplete longings. You hate us/you can't live without us. You fear our extinction, yet are happy to keep us on the razor of starvation, weak but working.
Art is a Mother. It is a terror. It is something one can't forget. If you are an artist, your art can't be "redirected" into a carefully wrapped and branded exterior hiding an easily digested yet oh so memorable interior. The Gods have mercy on us ---- it is our blood. We are the cursed mnemonic mutations of the thorn in your side. Most tragic of all, as individuals we are rare yet expendable. As viable citizens we are semi suicidal. Yet, you would miss us, you would, were we quietly gone, a Silent Spring at midnight. You might awaken to the irrevocable hollow of a song you had not yet heard and a discomforting realization that you can't fill that space yourself. Too late. Art has moved on to better pastures. And what moved away was the best undiscovered part of you. Art was the string once held that held something that floated away....
Then you remembered....when times were good and you sashayed to buy something that celebrated your superficial joys. When things got uncomfortable, you searched for the art tonic to soothe your confusions, or to focus your fight. And in times of utter desperation you began to find in a piece of art the miraculous ball of black and gold twine that helped you find your way. That is when you you began to understand...
Art is a lifeline thrown by a drowning man. Reach for it. Find it. Hold on tight. Never let go.
You never know when you will need art.
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