On Contentment

In our culture, the respected artist is most often the conflicted artist, those that struggle with their message, their emotions, or the demons.  John Lennon was the brilliant artistic force behind The Beatles.  He was the poet, the artist, the one that fought for a new vision of what pop music was.  At least, that is what we think.  Paul McCartney on the other hand is the one that kept The Beatles commercial with his great ear for melody and his sappy lyrics.  So what is wrong with art celebrating happiness, love and positive emotions?  Or like Paul said “Some people wanna fill the world with silly love songs.  And what’s wrong with that?”

A few years ago I had a period of absolute emotional breakdown, the proverbial middle-age crisis.  During that crisis, I found the voice that I had forgotten about.  I wrote a novel and a half, hundreds of poems, many short-stories, all in a frenzy to just get everything out of my head.  Often what I wrote was absolute trash, melodramatic, senseless dribble that found it’s way to the trash almost as soon as it hit the page.  Writing was neither cathartic nor senseless.

A few years later I find myself in a different and much better place.  I sit with my laptop ready to write and I only want to write about good things.  I delete them because there is no edge to them.  Who wants to hear about love?  Who wants me to fill a page with silly love poems?