The Purpose of Art

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I woke up this morning and wrote 12000 words in prose and verse, about many different things. It had been a couple of weeks since I had written at length and it felt good, giving me perspective and focus.

Meanwhile, I received several messages, emails, social media comments and pings on a verse I published yesterday, Farewell and Fare Thee Well. My blog stats hit the roof.
I also missed several calls, and managed to have a few meaningful conversations with friends and family, some of them artists themselves.

They were worried that something was happening to me, that I was ill, maybe dying. I take that as a great compliment, but it made me think about a question that I have been asking myself as an artist and (as a journalist) of others artists for many years: what is the purpose of art?
Art is not entertainment. It has a singular purpose for me and that is to help others experience what the world may be like for different people, in different circumstances, and to achieve a sense of oneness through a universal experience, and maybe also to help people understand or define nuances of emotions beyond the cognitive meaning of words.
I wrote Farewell and Fare Thee Well, almost a year ago, after a dream which was triggered by a story about a woman who was dying and leaving a young boy and a girl behind. I had kept it for a compilation of verses called The Book of Dreams. (Like many writers and artists, I dream and imagine a lot and this book contains verses and prose that are the direct result of dreams). The verse is from the perspective of a dying mother leaving her children behind.
I published the verse yesterday after reading another article on LinkedIn by a former Google employee Scott Riddle, who just found out he has stage 4 cancer and wrote about his thoughts and the reality facing his wife and three kids (all under 5). I published the verse because I realised it was relevant from the perspective of a dying father or any person standing on the threshold.
Writing and creating are integral to me and I write about people and feelings and thoughts and situations and ideas and issues, almost always in first person, many a times from my own experience, many a times about my own perspective but often also from the perspective of other people, living beings or even inanimate objects. I write to record and express experiences of living beings. 

I have no control over what I write or paint. I cannot decide I am going to write something happy or funny or clever or profound. I don’t know whose story will come out or even if it will be a human or animal perspective and if it will make people uncomfortable or elated.
So my endeavour is to just be, and to write and publish. And write again. All criticism, feedback, reaction and opinion is welcome and respected. 
And thank you for reading and the support. 


Aug18

About thebengali :

Thinker, Writer ... and Mountain Walker. | View all posts by thebengali

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