Sunday, June 12, 2011

Bohemian Dream Walking

Sometimes I just hate myself.

You know, as a writer, as an artist--- and I over-romanticize everything, thinking that if I could but have the courage, I’d be running down the road with Jack Kerouac, living out of some hippie van saying, "Hells yeah!" and "down with the Man" and everything else.

Staying in hostels and hanging out with guys half my age and backpacking across Europe with $200 stuffed in my bra.

But I can’t say that.

At least, not if I want health insurance.

I confess, I like being comfortable.

I’m not wealthy by any remote stretch of the imagination. My car has more than 138,000 miles on it. I’m paying off some medical expenses. But I’m happy. I’m blessed to be employed. I’m even more blessed to have people who would actually be concerned if I didn’t show up for work.

And should I feel guilty about feeling incredibly blessed and thankful for it? Am I less than an artist?

So does that make me a betrayer to this bohemian ideal? Or is artistry something we [well, I] tend to over-romanticize?

Or does sometimes courage mean NOT doing that?

I think we tend to want to say as artists that we have to have one extreme or the other. That if you’re not busking in the square and eating Ramen noodles, that you’ve somehow missed the point. To suffer for your art. Anything less makes you a hack.

I don’t think either extreme is right. Or good. And it can cause some existential breakdowns like this one.

Though I do confess, there are many who suffer for their art, and I believe are better artists for the experience. I have ---as all writers have had---stories born out of pain.

It makes for the best writing.

But sure is a hell of a way to learn.


Michael said...

Utterly superb writing, Dawn! You're the Real Deal, don't worry about that! (From one broke, quasi bohemian Artist to your dear self. But, that said, I can't be truly bohemian, as I've never heard of Ramen noodles...) :)

Dawn said...

Dude, they don't have Ramen noodles in Australia???? Holy crap, dude!
Ramen noodles are these freeze dried Asian noodles that come with seasons and flavoring. You just boil' em.
You can get like 8 packs of Ramen noodles (sometimes 12) for a dollar.
They aren't healthy, but I think they taste decent and are, by far,the ultimate cheap eat.

Thanks for your sweet comments Michael. Dude, I want to put a link to your blog here. YOU are the REAL DEAL poet.