I’m afraid I can’t really write anymore. I’m afraid that there’s a part of me that is stunted, numb, and that I won’t get it back. I’m afraid that I won’t be able to get it back without a price that is too high to pay. I’m afraid I gave up far too much for a hope that was only a hope.
Sometimes I wonder about great artists and the often crazy lives they lived. I wonder if every Sylvia Plath is on a path to die by placing her head in an oven, orange juice left out for the children. I wonder if every Lucy Maud Montgomery has a family that covers up a secret of a death that may have been premeditated. I wonder if every Bach takes unauthorized month long vacations, every Mozart lies subject to scrutiny because of peculiar behavior, and every Beethoven, troubled. I wonder if the somewhat milder ones, at least in our knowledge of them, were really that mild, whether Brahms’ deep friendship with Clara was simply that, a deep friendship, or whether the destruction of their letters suggests something more. In other words, I have long been bothered that the persons whom I admire and whose work I appreciate, often lived severely strained and unhappy human lives. And I have also been bothered that the persons with whom I am most assured of their natural steadfastness and stability also seem to lack natural musical or artistic expressivity. I realize this is surely a generalization, but from my limited experience with music and literature, this has been my regretful observation. I am bothered not because I am bothered by the persons themselves, but by the implications. Would it then follow that the same portion that made The Bell Jar possible is also the same portion that explained her later tragedy? Not that they would be one and the same, but is there overlap? Where does it start and where does it end? If I look back, even the poems and songs that touched my classmates the most were the ones born of genuine inner turmoil and searchings of heart. Does it then follow that one’s skill does not produce art, but that skill is only the medium by which a complicated soul is expressed? That without it, the form remains only a skeleton of metaphors and proper harmonies? Or do I need a new definition of beauty? Profound yet simple, deep yet solid, intricate yet strong.