Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Being an Artist

I dreamed of a man who was hoeing the ground and working the fields.  He had two artificial legs that were thin iron rods, and you could see his pant legs flapping around them.  He also had two prosthetic arms that were more normal looking.  We were standing outside of the barn, talking.  I noticed he was working those arms with a lot of effort.  I asked him if he had to do a lot to make them work, and he said, yes, it’s really hard.  And I asked him what about his legs?  He said when the surgeons offered him prosthetic legs, he told them to just put in the two iron rods, and be done with it.  

I had written a poem about him – only a couple of stanzas, and everybody thought it was really beautiful.  He said he had known it was about him.  I could tell he wanted more intimacy, and I explained the thing about artists.  That I was able to go way deep into people – I had this gift of extreme empathy, and it made people think I wanted to be close to them all the time, but it was only a temporary thing. It didn’t last long at all, and it was exhausting.  And he really understood that, what it meant for me to be an artist, and it was amazing because I finally understood it myself.