How An Artist Cheats Death


In fifty years or so, I’ll be dead. There will be no more tomorrows, not anymore. Most likely my body eaten by cancer, and then ravaged by fire. My remains scattered in a lonely cemetery, or perhaps kept on a mantelpiece in some tasteless urn. Maybe it’ll be sooner. Could be tomorrow, or next Thursday even. Under the wheels of a bus, or through some other disease ready to destroy the man I am. There’s just no way of knowing. But, I do know there’s a way to cheat death. A way to live for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. A way to speak to future generations. To influence the hearts and minds of others. Artists cling to this. This idea of leaving footprints. Some kind of immortality. A way to never be forgotten; to exist even when flesh and bone are no more. It’s not enough to live on in someone’s memory, or in a photograph as a lover that once was. It’s not enough to simply keep the bloodline going. It’s much more selfish than that. I want to dream even in death. To take others by the hand, and lead them on a journey even when what remains of me has long since gone. Others are content with seeing their children grow up to have children of their own. To enjoy their final years in peace and comfort after a wholesome journey. To live life to the fullest, and to do as much as possible, is the definition of a life well spent. But I want something more than this. It’s a matter of transcending. Of not accepting what is deemed sufficient. My thoughts are my art, and my art needs to bring pleasure to others, as well as myself. It should captivate and define. It’s an urge, and need, that can’t be denied. My voice cannot be quelled. It’s what makes me feel real. What makes me feel as though I’ve got some purpose to serve. And with every word that is written, and every thought captured, I’m trying to save myself from oblivion. The more I create, the better chance I have of living on after I die. For death is what I fear most. The idea of not existing anymore, unthinkable. Writing gives me meaning. It brings me pleasure. As an artist, my medium was once painting, but times changed, and so words came and served me better. To voice my ideas and dreams is what I live for. The visions I see- they need to come out. And the more they do, the better it is for all concerned. Death stalks me constantly. I fear it. It never leaves. And yet even though I’m trying my best to live on once I’m physically gone the lure of death fascinates. Every time I climax, the ‘little death’ comes and feeds me bliss. Every time I sleep, the beauty of not existing leaves me refreshed. Every time I’m drunk, the call of oblivion soothes like a lover. My art has always concerned death; it’s inescapable nature, and all of it’s mysteries. Perhaps in trying to outwit it, I’m playing an unwinnable game. But it’s something I feel compelled to do. This is a battle that goes beyond anything else. To me, I’m fighting a war that brings meaning to my life. And to bring meaning to our lives, is all we ever seek. It’s The Great Dance. The only one that matters.

16 replies »

  1. This is a truly thought provoking post. The thought of death and non existence is scary to me. The thought of so many things I have yet to accomplish, so many people I yet to meet….

    • I’m glad you think so, thank you. We are all a long time dead, and sometimes the weight of that knowledge becomes so heavy and cumbersome​. I guess the trick is to be free and in a constant state of mental flux- unchained of the immovable mountains of fate that inevitably await us.

  2. This is amazing and I can completely relate to this in the sense that the thought of leaving something behind after I die is the same reason for writing I have, I’ve just never been able to capture the idea and put it into words as well as you. You did an excellent job 🙂

    • Thank you for thinking so 🙂 I guess everyone has different reasons for writing. Pleasure, escapism, money. There’s no right or wrong reason, but I think the need to leave a mark is one that everyone has, whether it’s identifiable​ or not. I’m glad you feel the same way. It’s nice to not feel alone in my thoughts.

  3. I swear our minds must be following the same kind of tortuous routes – the more I read you, the more I feel this. This is exquisite from the choice of words to content x

    • I’m eternally thankful for your kindness. It’s nice to not feel so isolated in knowing that you’re going through the same thing. It’s a long road, and there’s no telling that we’ll ever reach our destination. Yet, all we can do is keep on walking x

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