I've been piping down valleys that did not include this blog, notably since my sister died. Then, I find someone is actually reading it and I re-think my dedication, which has failed, and why it failed and thus come to what is a problem in my little house and in the larger house of the artist.
The basic reason for my failure to continue is that I haven't the time and I haven't the time because I've spent my writing time writing poetry-- it was a very good year for that. Beneath that reason is that I have another life, or, another life has me. In that life I work, truck in the real world that I wish were the unreal world. Add to that that my wife is retired and we spend a lot of time together doing things that couples do when they have kids with kids and, allegedly, time on their hands.
Make no mistake: I have plenty to do that doesn't involve wife, kids, cats, rats and elephants and that does involve poetry, blogs, publishing (more on that in a few days), fiction, reading (got a Kindle for Christmas-- wonderful!) and all manner of things in the working out of my salvation. My lions fight my lambs and the rich, the well-healed have a leg up when it comes to the arts. Despite what one wishes to think, financial security, bucks, buys access as well and here I mean access to the workshops (however loathsome), festivals, seminars. It makes networking easier and this greases the skids. I have been the fortunate and unfortunate participant in many such events.
We are in large part a product of our choices or failures to choose and there are many who rise from ashes like mine to achieve great things that I have not risen to. Nonetheless, I assert that there is something amiss when society makes it so hard to engage the arts; when life seems to have so many things more important than the arts, when it values them so little. Respect and dignity for the arts and the artists would go along way to giving the artist the motivation to seize those choices that make for a life devoted to the arts as a career. There can be many Waldens and when attacked with passion they can become sustaining to the practitioner of the art.
Otherwise, we content ourselves with half-assed potshots we call art.