Life

I’m leaving, and I doubt I’ll come back, but you know how the flick knives of fate are: pushing you in a room with an empty canvas, the brush and the paint beckoning you to paint again. But I’ve learned that a stroll in a picturesque park can do away with the urge. Writing was never my life, and it’s my life that needs writing: pages and pages of musical notation with an odd time signature; piano jazz with light touch drumming with a Brad Mehldau or Triosence feel to it. Something ethereal and delicate that’s becoming this acquired taste that I can’t get enough off. And don’t look for me in my lines, or between them or in the minutiae spaces between the syllables, they never made me anyway. Don’t look for me in pictures posted on social networking sites, they’re just simulacrums of what’s actually there. A picture speaks, but doesn’t allow you to smell the soft earth, feel the breeze, or taste the sweet dew coating leaves. I guess I was wrong about so much, and right about so little. And my mistakes taught me that this tobacco hazed room with its books and notes scribbled aren’t really the jazz that’s life. There’s so much more bebop in meeting people, light conversations, runs and swimming, so much exhilaration and thrill in listening to concerts by the local indie band, so much to perceive by just getting out there and watching somebody hum Freedom by Mingus, before the spoken word than listening to it, resting against the headboard of my bed with my iPod on. There’s so much more fusion in finding me in the elements of places other than the local bookstore: maybe a bar with a beer, just hanging out with a few old friends, and the girl I crushed on in college, or was it after college? Hell, I don’t remember, but I guess I want those cool vibes, and none of this is about proving anything or getting an upper hand. No, this is something just for me, and will I juxtapose art and life like cool jazz, the alto saxophone being life and the piano art? I don’t know and honestly, I don’t care. I want beauty, love and should I go far and say infinity? It’s nothing esoteric, or out there, but just the infinity of each moment.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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26 responses

    • I didn’t say I’d abandon it. I may or may not. But then again, isn’t there more to life than just art? Now this is by no means a general statement, but artists often make life and art inseparable. I think the greater the separation between the artist and his/her art, the greater the experiences in both realms. And sometimes you just want to live for love and beauty more than writing about it. I think you’ll disagree, but it’s just a perspective.

    • That’s where I’ll have to disagree. I think your perspective gives room for confessional art, which is not a bad thing, but to completely distance yourself in such a way that you’re living a life completely different from what your art says is a perspective that I’ve chosen. In the end art is just something I do, and like you said in another comment, a lot of artists get obsessed with art. Art is just something I do. Sure effort and dedication goes into it, but in the end it’s just art to me. But still either perspective works I guess.

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