Despair and Hope and Art

Despair and Hope and Art

Talk, just what is it? A form of expression or a general distillation of expression. Or just sounds, sounds with untold consequences and with consequences all too told.

It may at times be cheap but at other times, the costliest of sacrifices. It can be horrible and mean and cruel and deceptive, the essential component of a lie, but it can be beautiful as well, especially when it’s honest, and accurate and complete. Unfortunately that’s become more and more rare. Honesty is a fading virtue, even within and to ourselves. We listen only to that which we want to hear, to that which reinforces our perspectives, and the more astute among us, understanding that, use it to their benefit and our detriment. We provide them with the wind to trim their sails and permit them to herd us, closer and closer to perdition.

Whispers and songs and shouts and laments and apologies and lies, many, many lies. Wonderful truths, revelations, confessions, sighs. Terrible lies, horrible lies, tiny lies, white lies, metaphorical lies, fictions.

Is there a role for fiction in the quest for truth? After all, metaphors are lies and similes frequently hyperbole. But fiction is an art form that at its peak, touches and changes hearts, frequently for ill but also for good. Fiction, perhaps the ultimate subjectivity.

Fiction, in and of itself need not be a negative. As an art form it can be entertaining and instructive. But when mispresented as fact, orchestrated as calumny, used as a wedge to divide us, it is a corrosive and corruptive. What we need is fiction as art that enlightens, brings us together, helps us to eradicate the intolerance and misunderstanding that keeps accumulating among us. Heals souls collectively brutalized and perverted.

Art and artists, pure of heart and purpose despite lives a bit too full, or even better, much too full, lives at times bursting with suffering and errors are, I believe, our salvation. Our minds and hearts are so sullied, our emotions so twisted and stifled, that only the subtle touch of muse blessed great hearted survivors can save us. Unfortunately, too much art has become a profit driven shadow, at best, a distant echo of a long lost memory, a once upon a glimpse of that which we so much need.

Our governmental priorities have relegated culture and art to hidden enclaves and dark alleys, as though what was being “purveyed” needed to be expunged rather than shared. I usually think that’s very sad and very foolish but perhaps it’s for the best. The young (whether physically or at heart) frequently prefer the forbidden, that which is disdained and banned by authority. And too often in the recent past, what might have matured into art has been absorbed into campaigns to stifle our creativity, our sense of rebellion and our clamor for change. It has been perverted into anti-art. Usually by government or its toadies.

I wonder at the social explosion that might result were art and anti-art forced to occupy the same space-time.


Perhaps there is hope, …


© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2017; all rights reserved

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