Art and Life

This is a picture of jazz instruments displayed in a music store that's closed. I've used jazz to symbolize life and to talk about how art intrudes and causes chaos. Hence the image.

I’m leaving, and I doubt I’ll come back, but you know how the flick-knives of fate are, pushing you into 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 there. A picture speaks, but doesn’t allow you to smell the soft earth, feel the breeze, or taste the sweet dew coating the 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 isn’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 rather than listening to it, resting against the headboard of my bed with my iPod on. There’s so much more fusion of senses found in places other than the local bookstore: maybe a bar with beer, where I’m just hanging out with a few old friends, and the girl I crushed on in college, or was it after college? 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? Not something esoteric, or out there, but just the infinity of each moment.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2019)