"I confess that I consider life to be a thing of the most untouchable deliciousness, and that even the confluence of so many disasters and deprivations, the exposure of countless fates, everything that insurmountably increased for us over the past few years to become a still rising terror cannot distract me from the fullness and goodness of existence that is inclined toward us. There would be little sense in approaching you with good wishes if each wish were not preceded by this conviction that the goods of life arise pure, undamaged, and, at their very bottom, desirable out of upheaval and ruin."
- Rilke, from Letters on Life
I suppose I cling to the idea of the fullness and goodness of existence. I cling to the idea that life is a 'thing of the most untouchable deliciousness.' But perhaps this is easy to do, from my position of relative ease, from my position which is at present free of upheaval and ruin.
One of the benefits of living with a still life artist, is that flowers are necessary. Tools of the trade.
But what a strange thing it is to be an artist! You live in the contradictions. Even our house is a contradiction - the upstairs is orderly and pleasant, bright. But downstairs, where Rob's studio is - bare bones, an unfinished basement, stacks of used and unused stretchers, strange props, cement floors, a dimness. The necessary mess of a working studio.
And it's true, there is no escape.
“There is no escape. You can’t be a vagabond and an artist and still be a solid citizen, a wholesome, upstanding man. You want to get drunk, so you have to accept the hangover. You say yes to the sunlight and pure fantasies, so you have to say yes to the filth and the nausea. Everything is within you, gold and mud, happiness and pain, the laughter of childhood and the apprehension of death. Say yes to everything, shirk nothing. Don’t try to lie to yourself. You are not a solid citizen. You are not a Greek. You are not harmonious, or the master of yourself. You are a bird in the storm. Let it storm! Let it drive you!”