Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Over Do It

Every artists knows how far from any feeling of letting himself go his most "natural" state is.

Friedrich Nietzsche
Hello Bregenz, Austria
A wise man once said that he treats everything with moderation, even moderation. That word "moderation" is probably the most useless word in the world of art and artists. Unless we are "out on a limb" where most people consider it excessive, unless we are in those dangerous places of opulence, magnanimity and ripeness we can't make the discoveries and produce the marvels that are so beloved by the rest of the world.

Think of the lush paintings of Rubens, Botticelli and Rembrandt, the vigorous poetry of Shakespeare or John Donne, the novels of Dostoevski. There is nothing moderate about any of their works. If you say Tchaikovski, most people think of the 1812 Overture. Where's the moderation in that?

One day a colleague and I went to visit a class of high school seniors who had seen our play. Questions were asked and one boy asked what life was like in the theatre. I asked him if he was thinking about a life in the theatre. He said "Mildly." My colleague said "Well, if you're thinking about it mildly don't think about it." And that brought on a discussion of what it was like for professional actors, how there was nothing mild about it, how it was with us every moment, how it was a constant occupation and preoccupation of our thoughts and lives, as it is with any artist.

I explained that we were not addicted, obsessed or insane but that we were committed to it and that it ranked in our lives above any other activity. I told the boy he might stop thinking mildly about it and start thinking passionately. Or he may soon discover something else to which he knows he can honestly commit his life.

Every day I sit here and write a entry into the Vagabond Journes and I often wonder why I do it. There is usually some mud the computer wants to throw on my page. Tonight it's that some girl scout stole my cookies so I have to reregister for every place I want to log in to. But I also wonder about the seeming futility of what I am doing. Maybe 15 people out of the millions in the world read my journal and maybe I will get 2 or 3 comments. It seems unlikely that any words will reach the shores where they can do the most good, unless I publish, which I would love to do if I knew how.

So why do I keep writing?

DB - Vagabond Journeys

This Week's Contest

This is one I put up a few years ago and people seemed to enjoy it so here it goes again.

You are now ordered to take a famous remark, a cliche or otherwise and restate it in the most verbose manner possible. Example:

Night is an inappropriate time for the manufacture of animal feed.
(Make hay while the sun shines.)

Get it? Ken Riches won this contest the last time, so you're up against some heavy competition.

Good luck. The decision of the ornery, biased, curmudgeon is final.

(This is not a contest)

NASA has planned to send a two man mission on an 18 month trip to the planet Mars. It would take 6 months for the astronauts to get there and after 6 months of exploration another 6 months to return.

Should they do it and why, and if not, why not?


4 answers so far

I eagerly await your answer.



Big Mark 243 said...

You sound like David Bryne as he asks 'Well, how do I work this?' in the song 'Once In A Life Time'...

Geo. said...

Re:"So why do I keep writing?"
Typical question after reading too much Nietzsche. He was big on Greek drama, which was not big on happy endings. There's no tragedy in doing something for fun.

Janice said...

Not as elegant as your other responders but I appreciate you and what you write, it makes me feel good.

Arlene (AJ) said...

You write not only for those of us who read your site DB, but also for yourself which is good, keeps the mind alert and looking forward to what tomorrow can bring. Never stop writing, it's a legacy to all the wonderful and maybe not so wonderful things you've gone through in life, and I believe it makes you a stronger, better person. Sure beats sitting around doing nothing, that would be a waste of life and I can't ever imagine you doing that.

Valerie said...

I think those who are writers need to write as for themselves as much as they need to be heard. I appreciate your posts, DB =)!! Thanks for being so consistent!!

Ally Lifewithally said...

Thankyou for a very interesting read ~ and please keep on writing for us to share your thoughts ~ Ally x

Anonymous said...

You may "keep" writing, but it does not grow hackneyed--which is a lot more than you can say for the writings of many others. ~Mary

pacifica62 said...

I really would like to believe that the 15 or so people who read your entry and the 2 or 3 who might respond to it count for something.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

What is published on the internet is never erased, so you are publishing each day you write, and others will find it in the future.