I have made things by hand, by camera, by word, by song, by piano, and I say all of that to celebrate, to validate a life I have fought for and earned.
And as I get close to completing and sharing a novel that will have taken me 25 years to finally complete, it is hard for me to express in words (yes irony, I hear you) how much pleasure that gives me.
Here is why.
I always knew that this book might be too big for me to write, and it was, and then it was again, and then it finally became just the right size for the Philip Deal now to finish what the J. Philip Deal then had started, two Philip friends sharing my body at different ages with different levels of experience,
My novel has a cooler title now, its third – Ohm: A Novel of Resistance – and it has a mysterious black and red cover that I cannot wait to hold, and a Chapter X with a character named Philip, and only those pages remaining that need to be there. Nothing extra. Nothing less.
The life of an artist is entirely satisfying even when it burns like red hot coals. The truth is that the only real pain in my artistic life has been my being forced to retreat from it for longer than I am comfortable,
like a fish on legs moving from pond to pond to evolve.
But all of that is okay, because my life has become a work of art,
and is just like yours that way.
There are times when life is so beautiful that I wonder how I am ever anything but eternally overwhelmed with joy.
And strangely, oddly, in a way that I cannot explain, and don’t really care to, it has been death, my first real acknowledgement that it is coming, that has given me the final piece of permission I need to make any art I ever want to make.
I will die, I see, which means that
nothing will matter when I do,
so I might as well be brave enough to create
exactly the way I want to.
And because I have been practicing creating for my entire adult life I am well prepared to receive this epiphany. It appears I have won the only lottery that matters.
THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO BE AFRAID OF.