When I was fourteen years old I realized that I wanted to write. It was thirtyone years ago. I still don’t know what I want to write about.
I know a lot about what not to write, of course.
I’ve never had a wish to become a novelist. Well, almost never. Of course I’ve considered it, and there are novelists who have mastered “the art I’m thinking” of while writing this article. I have no desire to channel my creative spirit into – the imaginary – world of the novels. Yet I believe it’s the second highest artform. Perhaps the third – in the classical sense.
Every artist I’ve met has claimed that music is the highest artform. The greatest writer in Iceland’s history – Halldór Laxness – claimed this also. He stated that he became a writer for he wasn’t good enough to become a musician.
I don’t understand these statements. Therefore I submit to them. If I understood them I would write about that. You shouldn’t mouthfart about stuff you don’t understand.
My mind has the nature of a Philosopher, a Mystic, and a Jester. It’s a curious combination common to prophets. We take spiritual values seriously, then we take them apart, then we put them together in different perspectives. Usually the new perspective is incomprehensible to “common thinking” and still enchanting when put in “common language”, and in the end we make fun of it all.
If the truth can be told in a way to be understood, it will be believed ~Terence McKenna
I wish to quote Leonard Cohen at this point: “I’ve read the texts of the religions, but cheerfulness kept creeping in”.
I do not understand music, but I do understand its messages. All my favorite musicians have something esoteric to publish, but have the good graces to hide it. If the music doesn’t carry a message hidden in its tone and lyric, it’s empty. On the other hand if it does, it will live.
A band of popular pop music might be popular for a while, for it carries the message of current times, and voices what the puplic wants to say but cannot on its own. Yet a song lives, if it carries an element of deeper meaning. I challenge you to explore the lyrics of Freddie Mercury, and ask yourself what deeper meanings have carried his art long after his death.
Almost every poem of Cohen’s has this element, and his songs have lived. A musical jester of philosopy and search for spiritual meanings. You can tell in his eyes and careful selection of words. He comes to mind as someone who understands the power of a good story the soul of music and composition of words.
For me the greatest artform is neither writing nor music. I’m tempted to say that “the story” is the oldest artform in our human history. We all love a good and well told story. The song, and its lyrics, are no less old and no less revered. Third being theater, enacting characters and roles.
The greatest artform is the moving – inspiring, and transforming – of the human spirit.
When one person moves another persons spirit in a direction, or captures it. That’s the highest artform, and as with everything human, a hidden one. Human spirits love mysteries and hidden messages, complications and agendas. It’s part of what makes us colorful.
Two years ago I was tempted by my own depths to drop this urge for writing entirely. The greatest book you can write, is the one written by your life. There are great artists in history who have pulled this off. The idea inspires me.
Yet I cannot stop writing, or recording, my thoughts.