Monday, October 7, 2013

Suffering for Art By Karen Pilarski

My thirteen year old step daughter Mia and I were having a lovely conversation over the weekend. We went to the coffee house on a college campus. Lounging in comfy chairs and sipping hot drinks with fall type aromas. Acoustic versions of Maroon 5 songs played softy.

We were discussing brains since this is a new passion for her. She wants to be a doctor when she older and help cure cancer. She was inspired by the tragic loss of loved ones and beating cancer for others. In college I studied professional communication and instructional design (adult education) in graduate school. She excitedly chatted away about fascinating elements of the brain and its superb power.

Mega Mia
As I mentioned I never studied biology except in 10th grade. I said "I wonder why do babies fall asleep in their food and not seem to mind?" She paused and pressed her finger to her lips, contemplating. "A baby's nervous system isn't developed enough.  There sensitivity is not at an adult level." I said "Wow, that makes sense." A mischievous smile spread across the young face. "Oh, I totally just made that up!" She laughed loudly as my cheeks flushed. You got to give it to her, she knows how to exaggerate and speak eloquently.

 I have said it before, one day "Mega Mia" will rule the world. I made up the nickname because she is so sweet yet underhanded and slick.We also discussed how people don't use all portions of their minds. We said it is funny how creative types are very intuitive and sensitive. I made the point that creative people tend to fully feel the effects of suffering.

Our conversation stuck in my head over the past few days. I was flipping channels and "Alf" was on. The 80's show about a troll looking alien that crashed into a house of a suburban family. He spends the duration of the show acclimating himself to his new life.

The episode was Alf trying to create a masterpiece to impress an art professor. The daughter in the show was taking a class and trying to get a good grade. Alf makes it his mission to 'suffer' for his art. He sings sad music and various other self depreciating methods to make art. His painting was hideous yet the art professor loved it. Funny how 80's television nostalgia can inspire a blog post but it did. What does it mean to truly suffer and suffer for 'art'?

In life to achieve a dream, sacrifices are made. It could be a lack of sleep, food and costs of relationships. When people feel melancholy they may cry, eat ice cream, drink a beer or sulk. For creative minds the somber and joyful moods are used to produce art. It may not even be from their own lives but hearing someone's befallen or happy tale. As a writer, I use music to assist me with defining feelings. Suddenly my fingers tap along the keyboard and before I know it I have written something that came from deep in my heart. Writers create because they have loved, suffered and endured.