Dear Artist

Updated: Jan 8



Dear artist,

I see you.

I see you toiling away in the corners, on the edges, in the margins, fighting for a moment on the stage, in the gallery, in the hall,

to be seen in the eyes of your audience

your contemporaries, your critics, your friends, your family,

your city, your country, your culture

as exceptional.

as valuable.


 

Dear artist,

I see you.

I see the ways in which you have looked with your inner eyes, listened with your inner ears and touched with your inner skin,

your keyboard, your canvas, your paper, your pencil. the space with your body, the floor with your knees, the lights, the dials, the strings, the fabric,

your tongue to the tip of your mouth

cutting breath into tiny syllables of meaning

singing

praying

to be heard.

I see you with your fingers grazing, nudging, tapping. scratching.

With your elbows arching and twining, your back bowed over and your head slumped across.

With your eyes flickering as you recant, as you shout, as you shiver and seduce a torment of wonder, of horror, of awe that cracks the knowing of our knowing, the blood of our bleeding and opens us to feel with our own lives, with our own hearts what was not visible before – which only now, has just arrived.


 

Dear artist,

I see your pain.

In your basement suite.

In your cluttered room.

In your day job.

In your night job.

Over your desk when your kids are sleeping

with your eyes turning hollow

and your face hanging slack

from looking too long at a piercing screen

And a long tag of black letters plunking

deadline, deadline, deadline.


 

Dear artist,

I see you in the endless administrations of Whats? Who's? How will you? How much? And why you? Why you? Why you? Until you are numb with all the reasons and empty of caring.


 

Dear Artist,


I see you coveting, scheming, defending, elbowing for space in a crowded room, vying for just one moment to come to you, easefully, charmingly to sit with you at your table, lie with you at your bedside and carry you to the future where you can rest, one day, your work expressed, acknowledged, your value received – as it should be.

Because it should be.

As you are everywhere.


You are there, in the songs we sing at bedtime, to our children, in the cabin, in the winter by the fire.


You are there, in every technicolour, cut and splice of bullet glimmering, back bending, slow motion, fast action, tear jerking, gut wrenching, laugh inciting guffaw of fibre-optic code that disassembles and reassembles into our living rooms at night.

You are there in every slinking vase, glinting label, magazine sheen and ring of glass – sweeping through every subtle hem and draping line with your gleam of silver and glint of brass.

You’re here with us, tapping upon our thoughts, etching visions of pasts and futures we’ve never lived. Yet evoking, with every twisting, turning page, a moment as present to us now, as our own breathing.

You are here, dear artist.

You are here.

So why, why then, do you feel like you don’t exist?

Because in this culture, possessed by facts, figures, stats and bottom lines we daren’t admit we need you – we daren’t admit we’re pervious to your imagining, intuiting experiments in being.

If we did, that would risk revealing that in a world where you were absent, we would be rendered motionless and inert – dimensionless figures, lost stationing inside of doorless hallways, recanting our echoless calculations for no one and nothing.

How can we possibly admit that, dear artist?

How can we possibly say it – your worth?

How can we possibly pay it forward?

Pay it back?

Make it up to you?

Make it count?

When we, ourselves feel so powerless to be you?

When we ourselves feel such a lack?

If we only we had your eyes to see.


To see ourselves.

As you see.

Capable. Beautiful. Exceptional.

A precious dreamer,

only dreaming.

Dreaming her own conception

as ordinary.

Dreaming herself an object.


A subject.


A function.

A demand.

Dreaming herself asleep to her own power.