A Community Artist

A community is a straw belly deep in an untapped, cold slush of shared emotion and experience, sweet but stagnant. The artist is one blessed, maybe cursed, with thirst; a thirst that guides his lips to the end of the straw, previously only teased by gusts and weary flies. Each piece an artist creates is an inhalation, whether deep and enduring or sudden and jarring, that bids the slush rise within the straw bathing its insides (the minds and outlooks of a community and its participants) in the vibrant fluid of communal life like marrow coursing through an otherwise dusty bone.

Though, perhaps this metaphor falters in that it ignores one simple but unavoidable truth: the artist is not separate from his community. He is not a man peering through windows scrawling messages backwards in the steam-breathed glass so that if the partiers inside are willing to take their eyes off the butts stirring up their crotches they can read the wisdom of his observations. Rather, the writer is himself dancing the night away and is himself on the receiving end of an eager booty, which in this case represents the allures and sensual delights of the daily grind as well as the ever-present potential for pain and sadness. However, unlike the other dancers, the artist is called to take his eyes from the rump in his lap and look to the stage where sits the universe, congealed into a glowing mound of music.

He has heard the melody since birth and seen remnants of the soft shine in the stories of Grandma, Shakespeare, and all the poets and yarnsmiths he’s ever encountered, but only after seeing the simple, grand totality of the world for himself can he wield the light and fashion a disco ball to spew light on his fellow dancers and embolden the movements of all those with whom he shares the floor.

 Will Gillette


One thought on “A Community Artist

  1. Will, this is gorgeous. -AF

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