Art and the artist

On Twitter, I follow an account called Fesshole. People can confess whatever they don’t dare sharing with people they know, anonymously. Tonight I read the following:

For backstory: the Lostprophets were a Welsh punk/rock band. Their music was really great. But their singer/songwriter – Ian Watkins – turned out to be a pedophile. He was convicted and sentenced to 29 years in prison. Rightfully so, as he showed no remorse and even blamed the women who let him touch their kids. I won’t go into details, you can find everything online if you search for the band or the singer.

As life turns, I own many of the bands albums, and I listened to them a lot for a while. After I heard about the singer’s criminal fantasies and energy, I felt sorry for the rest of the band. For years they made music and recorded albums. And really, some of their songs were awesome. It is all on Spotify, I think. And now there is one man who ruined the rest of these artists simply because they can be associated with him. They will always keep the label of the old band. “Oh so you were in Lostprophets. That’s the band with the pedophile. Sorry, we don’t want you as our bassist.”

But now I wonder, is it okay to listen to these songs knowing that one of the band members turned out to be a rapist and child molester? I mean, I would say “yes” it is okay: at the same time, I chose not to listen to any of their CDs ever since the news dropped.

Is there a way to separate the art from the artist?

I have been thinking about it for a couple of days now. I have been thinking about all the Welsh artists and bands in my collection, and they are plenty. The above tweet came as a coincidence tonight. Then again, I don’t believe in coincidences. It was the driving force to write this post; a post I have been thinking about writing for a while – in a different form.

As I stated above, I believe that one can separate the art from the artist, but… BUT does that only count if the artist turns out to be a narcissistic cunt? Am I a hypocrite for saying that I can deal with someone who is arrogant and conceited but not with a criminal? And there too: I watch Charlie Sheen on TV, listen to the odd Michael Jackson song… They dealt with similar accusations too, is it worse because Watkins was sentenced to a long time behind bars?

I believe in the good in people, that much is true.

But in this case, I am a mom of three, an educator working at a nursery with babies and toddlers, and I genuinely believe that every crime against a child deserves punishment.

Quote

I finished everything I ever started. Apart from life. That’s still going strong. (Torsten Sträter)

writing advice from my mentor

I just stumbled across a private message from 2016. I was unsure about a piece of writing because it seemed too raw, too real and too revealing. He replied with this

A word is still just a word, until it gets spoken out loud for everyone to hear. Then it becomes more. It comes alive. Let your words breathe. It will set you free.

R.A.

What do you think? Are words a cage or do they bring freedom?

Cotton Candy Dreams (202)

Everything slows down. Time and thought. I was waiting for this. For the moment, my mind finally floats to other realms and leaves everything behind. It’s almost silent in my mind. The voices that usually can’t stop their chatter are an inaudible blur. Far away. In a cotton land. I am relaxed. My face is relaxed. And I grin. It’s not a smile. It feels like a grin. It probably looks like a grimace. But, who cares?! I need someone to care. I just want to be left alone for a moment. This fucking pain is just too much. Why can’t I just fly away? I want to enter dreamland. A safe space in my mind. The place where everything is possible. The place where everything is love. The place where my fantasy can exist. I remember an image from a movie I just saw. I want to reach out my hand, palm up, lift it to the sky and catch eternity. I am tired. My tongue is heavy. I don’t want to die. I just want to lay down and rest until the pain-tsunami washed over me. Let me go. Please don’t let me go. Good stuff. Float on cotton candy dreams.

Perfect Light (760)

I yawn and stretch my back before I put my head back on your shoulder. There is something about that perfect light on an autumn morning. My fingers draw lazy patterns on your chest, tickling you here and there. You pull me closer until we kiss. We don’t have any obligations. Lockdown is still going strong, and we are living in our fantasy bubble – you and me. Your hand feels warm on my skin.

You pull away with a grin, and I watch you as you walk to the bathroom. I like how comfortable you are in your skin. When we met, you weren’t comfortable at all. You were shy about the extra kilos you are carrying. I never cared about that. You don’t bother closing the door and what used to be disgusting in other partnerships seems normal with you. It’s not as if I am watching you. At least not while you are in the bathroom. But I am not appalled either. Everything flows naturally between us. Nothing to hide. You wash your hands and come back to the bedroom/living room/kitchen – it’s all in one. You are oblivious to my thoughts. I can’t stop grinning, and I hope that you come back to bed. But you are not. Instead, you sit at the piano. Naked as you are.

You put your hair in a tie and bow your head. A lock falls out, and you push it back behind your ear. I know that it won’t stay there. You know it too. I keep observing you. Your fingers glide over the keys without pushing down. There is no sound. You close your eyes, and I know you are zoning out. You are drifting off into your creative space. It is as if you know exactly how the song you are not playing will sound. And, I guess you really know. There is music in your veins.

I sit up on the bed, covering myself with the sheet. It’s something I have seen in many movies before. From the nightstand, I grab my journal and pen. They are always close by in the hopes of some creative input. I haven’t written much since I first got off the plane and into your life. There is no urgency to write anything of substance, and yet, I want to immortalise this moment somehow. I notice that I left a scratchmark on your shoulder. The skin is red, not bloody, just red. And maybe it stands out because you are very pale.

You turn around and look at me. I want to take a photo of you. You are smirking; through the stubble covering your cheeks and chin, I can see your dimple. There is only one. You haven’t shaved since I came for a visit. I like this look on you. Completely relaxed.

This was unplanned. I was supposed to stay for one night and two days. It has turned into four weeks due to a surprise hard lockdown and all flights out being cancelled. Four weeks of you and me in a tiny apartment. I am happy that I am here. And you seem happy too.

You cock your head to the side, and more of your hair leaves the ponytail. I look you straight in the eyes. Something has happened between us. Something neither of us expected.

I push my journal and pen away again. I will not write. Most of my prose sprung from sadness and melancholia. I’m not feeling any of those right now. I push the sheet away and move past you to the kitchenette. You slap my butt, and I squeal. I fill a glass with water, take a sip and go back to you, offering you my glass. You take it and put it on a stack of papers. Then you pull me against you. Your head against my chest, my chin on your head. I sigh. This feels like home. A perfect moment that can never be erased. I want to laugh it off, but I feel strong in your arms. I feel connected to your soul; I snort at that thought. You raise your head to look at me, and I shake my head. We stay like this, in silence. And the sun keeps bathing us in a warm and perfect light.

I used to be a forgotten moment, a never-taken breath. I used to be an afterthought. But now, I am a memory that can never be erased. A dream behind your open eyes. A skipped heartbeat at night.

Sunday Song

Bear’s Den – when you break

From the EP “Agape” (2013). Bear’s Den is a British duo from London. Their music can be described as indie-folk-rock.

I am not sure how I came across the above song, but it played in one of my spotify playlists this morning and I wanted to share a good song with you all.

Have a nice day xx

About that last post

Last night, I shared what seems to be the start of something new. I know that words are missing, and explanations are missing. But, keep in mind that I wrote and hit publish. Nothing more. And I am thinking of writing more, but well, this might as well stay just the idea for something. I am not sure yet.

What mattered most to me in that moment was that I wrote. I haven’t written that many words of complete fiction in a long while. And it made me proud. So, anyway.

In bright daylight, I know that those 1800+ words need a lot of work. But I also know that it is a start. Maybe, finally, I will be able to write again.

A little something I am working on – unedited 1st draft

Prologue (1877 words)

I’m putting away the pencils that are strewn over the little table, scribble the names of the artists on their masterpieces and look around the classroom. I am almost done with my day at work. I tidy my desk, wipe down the blackboard, and put another snippet of paper that escaped the first inspection in the trash. Closing the windows, I see a silver car approach. I am not happy about it, but it is part of who I am right now. I can’t see his face, but I imagine his lips to be shut tight. He ordered me to wait for him on the curb, but I am not there. I hurry to put my bag on my shoulder and grab my coat on the way out. My breathing is heavy. Not from my quick steps as I skip stairs on my way down; no, I am tense with anticipation. Every day, he finds something new that I did wrong, and today, it must be more than not finding me where he expected me to be. 

Trust me: the moon knows

And we are dancing under the pale moonlight, forgetting the world. The wind whispers songs into our ears, and the grass caresses our naked feet. Your arms around my waist, my hands on your cold cheeks.

And we are dancing under the moonlight, to the silent melodies of our hearts in tune. The moment is magic, and the stars witness the meaning too. You are looking down at me, swaying my hips; I’m looking up at you, licking my lips.

And we are dancing under the moonlight, alone in a crowd: a smile, a kiss, and this inexplicable bliss—a memory tattooed onto my formerly blind mind. The sun pushes the moon away, making room for a new light.

In the blink of an eye, and with a swallowed exchange of breathing air, I realise that the darkness on my skin has left; it is gone. As if it had never been there.