The Top of the Seventh

August 19, 2014

The newest chapter of When the Sparrow Sings is up. I like this chapter. Like, I really like it. It’s my favorite part of the book.

Go forth, and read it.

Permission to Be Sad

August 17, 2014

Last night, Cate and I watched Dead Poets’ Society. I don’t think I have to explain why. Unless you’ve been in a cave this week, you know that Robin Williams killed himself. It’s a good movie and one we hadn’t watched in a long time. Still, we’ve both seen it enough that there’s no reason we should be left sobbing at the end. But we were sobbing. Both of us. The reason for that is probably obvious enough, too.

People — and I’ll include myself here — often feel silly grieving a famous person. We don’t know them. We just know the movies they were in or the songs they sung. That’s what we say. No reason to cry. But many of us also talk about the value of art about how important it is about how it moves us, sometimes to tears. I think most artists would have it be so. Would have the work talked about more than the person.

But I don’t think they are entirely separate. No matter what we may want to believe. I think making art is a deeply personal endeavor. No, you do not share all of yourself or even most of yourself when you make art. But you do share part of yourself. Often, I suspect it is the most important part. Who among us doesn’t have some artist who appears in more memories than most of our relatives? I don’t care to take a long view of Robin Williams’ career or to talk about the relative merits of some of his movies. All I care about is that someone who made art that was very important to me and that moved me many times throughout my life is gone. No, I never met him, but even without all the articles and interviews, I suspect I’d still know something about him. That’s the way art is. If it isn’t true, it’s a lie. Many of the things he did were true. And now the man who expressed those truths is gone and I am sad.