Two pieces of writing about art
I love this stream of consciousness writing. Your art is your art. You owe us nothing.
I have found my power—reminds me of when my ex, the big ex, the big bad ex, broke up with me for someone shiny and new after ~seven years of a relationship that I thought might be The One. That I had told my grandmother was The One before she passed. Turns out The One found an upgrade.
Anyways that ex had seen a video of the flurry of angsty songs I'd written post breakup, had seen how someone she looked up to commented on it, how it was finding a slightly wider audience than normal, was maybe doubting her upgrade choices, and texted me "are you evolving"
Nope. No. And No. My power has been constant and present since the primordial. I have crowed at the dawn since my lungs learned to sound. I have found my power and it was within me and everpresent—burning, sputtering and ember-bright.
Thank you for the reminder Amanda
"... And don’t forget: I’ll have a drummer."
Hell yes Amanda and the music will be a long howl of pure grief, joy, and love. When you're ready.
Thank You, AFP.
I'm glad you're back in the US, not too far from me. (I'm in North Jersey).
I totally get it.
Was talking (texting) just a few minutes ago to my sister 2000 miles away in Arizona how our Art is for Our Well Being.
If others can enjoy it, all the better.
Thank you. Every word of this is art. And every breath of life sustaining oxygen you give back to us as we all, collectively, art-fully, just focus on keeping breathing.
Your writing is reassuring to me. From 2013-2015 depression took away my sense of smell and taste. A very gifted therapist who was also a poet helped me to regain them. He curated the Lake George Jazz Festival for 35 years. In the early 1970's he ran The Tin Palace on the lower east side of NYC. Poets and musicians met there. CBGB's was happening then too. In December 2019, I had an ear infection and lost my sense of smell and taste again. I haven struggling again. My therapist is decent but not like Paul Pines who worked with me from 2013-15. He sadly died of cancer in 2017.
This was fucking phenomenal and exactly what I needed to read and hear right now. I cried and you rock with whatever dumb or smart instrument you happen to have in your hands. I owe it to too many bitter ex-artists not to become another one before I’m dead.
There’s this phrase people us about certain public figures, that they “learn out loud.” One of the things I’ve always loved about you, Amanda, even when I disagree with you or don’t like an individual piece of work you put out, is that you are dedicated to humaning out loud. It is not an easy thing to do, especially when your very human life is inexplicable or painful. Some people don’t want all that realness. They want finished product and nothing messy, which honestly makes me wonder what they think of their own messy lives. No matter. Their projections aren’t yours to carry. Just keep being your messy, real, creative self. We’ll be with you.
As always, Love your work Babe!! I love the throbbing mess and the power filled promise of return, I love the way you are cherishing your little man, as not a second of that time is reclaimable, if you miss it, you miss it. I love the way you do your art and I love the way you respond so clearly to those that would have you another way from your brilliant self. Each time any one of us, does the real thing, we create more real ways to live as best we can in these crazy ass times. I do look forward to your return to the piano, when it’s time, when it’s time. Big Katherine Hugs.
Ash can't hear you type on a phone, but he can hear you play the piano. He's jealous like a sibling. It will get better.
Thank you Amanda. I used to be an artist. I haven’t created anything in years. I began referring to myself as a former artist… but now I look forward to being a future artist. The in between is what it is, but there’s hope.
It's raining, and the windows are open. I saw you posted this, and I was excited but I chose to wait until I could crawl into bed with the blankets and silence pulled up around me. It reminded me of the excitement I'd have for your blogs during the MySpace days. Amanda, my God, the ache and the beauty and the needle sharp imagery...I read the draft yesterday on Facebook and the imagery has been making my lungs ache all through today. This final piece is everything. I haven't watched the video yet, because I want to sit with this a bit more. I've been thinking lately about writing again, just one or two short lines, maybe a stanza. It's been well over a year. This, going slow, or not and continuing to focus on my own healing, has been a hug. I love you, and your words, and your chords, in whatever form they may be. Kristin
I love this immensely.
Oh my, so much to unpack here, and no way I will be able to do it justice. I feel a kinship where there is most likely none, but many pieces of the story you lived ring true to me.
I played viola for 8 years, from age 7 to 15. I was told I had perfect pitch. My parents hired a master violist to teach me, and he was harsh and cruel, and "beat" all the joy out of it. I ended up with a form so tight and cramped that even if I had continued, it probably would have taken years of therapy just to loosen up and play for love.
So, I sold my viola and spent my money on weed or whatever. I took up visual art, because nobody tried to force me to do anything. I fell in love. I was a painter for almost four decades. It was my identity. I created a unique style and produced a lot of what I unabashedly think was great work. I never made a living at it. Maybe because I wasn't driven enough to be a capitalist. Maybe because I'm a bit lazy. Maybe because the world is full of Philistines.
Then I got a nice camera, and that consumed me for a good ten years. I didn't make money at that either, but I had a decent freelance gig with McGraw-Hill that enabled me to travel the world. It is in photography that I most suffer from Creative Impostor Syndrome. It feels too easy. Everything is there, and I just click.
Now I am retired from a life supporting my art in kitchens, dining rooms, and construction, and I no longer paint. I am done with it. I take photographs, but mostly just with my cheap Android. And I am working on my second Science Fiction Novel. That's what I do now. I write.
I guess what I am getting at is something you seem to already know. We are creators. It doesn't matter how "successful" we are. It doesn't matter if we continue to do what our "fans" want. It doesn't matter what medium we dive into or how long we stay. We are driven to create and communicate through that creation, and that is good.
It always upsets me when I see people give up on other people because they don't understand them. I am sorry for when it happens to you. I feel lucky every day not to be a public figure and not to be on social media.
What I am is an old lady, a mother, and a grandmother. I can tell you, but you already know, that being a mother only adds to who you are, broadens and deepens your heart and over time enriches your imagination.
In a creative life we are playing the long game. Some years we invest differently in various strands of our lives. When we look back we can see how the fabric was woven of these strands. You are right to have faith that the current that runs below and within is what carries through in the long term.