When you are a writer, you may speak the truth, but society does not value honesty. Or, writing. Pursuing your art as a writer may actually limit your job opportunities. Your flagrant individuality negatively effects your ability to earn, even though it should be, could be and would be the opposite in a world that prioritizes kindness and compassion over cruelty and judgment. That, however, is not the world we live in. Whether you are a writer or not.
As a writer, your talent may be real. And, it has innate virtue. But that will not earn you friends. Or, dollars.
Then, there's the problem of interpretation. A reader may misinterpret a writer's words or intentions, or, both. Relatable writing is often not related to a specific individual. Nor should literary work be considered literal. And yet, and yet....
Aptly-named "haters" will only ever see problems. Because, haters don't see themselves as hateful. I wonder what people like that consider love, or loving? I suppose I don't have to wonder. The conditional aspect of every part of a hater's psyche was forged in a sterile environment where love and affection were scarce, setting up a lifetime of approval-seeking behavior. That is how a hater defines love--giving is only possible to those who take. It's no wonder haters are also takers. Users. Abusers. Victims who victimize. Wounded healers.
Chiron comes to mind....
The Dark Triad is now foundational to society. That means society rests solely on the pillars of narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism. Self-serving, selfish, greedy, and sociopathic behaviors equal success. Generosity and kindness are only appropriate in the "non profit" sector. Whereas talent falls under the category of the "arts"--words like "artsy" and "eccentric" were created to describe artists. While there are also eccentric billionaires, none are considered artists. Except perhaps for J. K. Rowling.
There is always the fantasy that success can somehow be found through the written word when you are a writer. Not just monetary success, but success in life and love as well. Someone, somewhere is reading your words and not intimidated by your brilliance, not jealous of your talent, but instead, in awe of you and your brain--and not the fact that you resemble Sophia Loren circa 1970 a la the cover of Vogue except, your bra size is a 34-D, not a 34-C.
Has any beautiful woman ever really found happiness? I'd wager the sad answer is no. Beauty fades. Art doesn't. As long as an artist is making their art, they have purpose. Joy is possible. Love is, too. Even when you are in the most dire of circumstances, you can find light, hope and faith through your art. It is the same with writing. But with more gravity. And, gravitas.
Would you trade a soul for comfort? For a roof over your head? A warm bed to sleep in? Food in your belly? Clothes on your back??? The world has required that of women for centuries, if not millennia. And, not just our own souls either. Does that make us evil then? To desire comfort and care in a cruel world? To want and need protection from the predators that only want to use you, and not keep you??? Husband means farmer, by the way. That's why wives are often compared to cows through analogies about milk and giving it away for free.
There's a reason the word chattel sounds so much like cattle....
I keep waiting for life to bloom and grow. It is, but in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong person from the absolute wrong situation. Lots of "wrongs." Very few "rights."
And, right on cue, Hannah Arendt leans against my sliding glass doors, smoking a cigarette. She is watching me with that wry smile of hers curling the corners of her aging lips. Her expression is naturally sardonic, but you would expect that from a Jew who survived the Nazis when six-million others didn't. And, from a woman who was sleeping with the enemy--the likely reason she survived in the first place. She is black-and-white, like an old photograph, peering at me through cynical dark eyes as the smoke from her ashy cigarette rises toward the ceiling. A guffaw mocks my pain as she utters, "There is your freedom," nodding toward the woods in my backyard. But if I walk away, it will not be my backyard anymore. I will not have a house. I will not be safe. I will be vulnerable to predators. I will be cold. I will be hungry. So I slink back into the shadows. Like a beaten dog. Slumped over. Head and eyes down. Not really eating or drinking. Afraid to move, or speak, or feel. Learned helplessness is learned after all. Only intelligent dogs understand (and thereby accept) defeat. Dumb ones bite their owner. Pee on purses. And end up feral. Or worse, dead.
Would that be me, if I accepted Hannah Arendt's challenge? And, if I accepted her challenge, despite my learned experiences in nearly five decades on Planet Earth, do I, too, still somehow have the right to have rights??? Just thinking that makes me hiccup in sarcastic laughter, breaking the silence of the house. Of course, even silence isn't silent anymore when punctuated by the backdrop of a particular white noise worthy of Don DeLlillo's pen.
Rose McGowan's brave heart may be Brave indeed. But, she doesn't look any happier for it, does she? Maybe happiness is a lie, like heaven. Or, hell. Because, if you're not fighting for happiness, what are you really fighting for? And, why???
Evil doesn't get punished--it gets rewarded. Laws are written to protect it. Makes me think of the poor trapped Dwarves of Moria in Lord of the Rings writing, "There is no way out," as their final expression of immortal-hope amidst their mortal-hopelessness. Those words were a message for the future, despite the fact that the author had none.
If nothing else, writing is a hopeful act. Perhaps the words of the observer are lost on the observer as the source of the writing, but those same words may inspire others to open the door to their glass houses. To run into the woods and never look back. To safeguard their bodies as places where potential miracles can and will happen, whether you're ready or not.
Courage means doing what we must despite being afraid. But I'm not exactly sure that exhaustion counts as cowardice.