Art is as a noble profession, a profession I want to protect from pop culture banality and commercial interests. These people are the real killers of art. It seems so strange that I have so much in common with Beethoven and Kandinsky, in terms of personality and a deep love of music. Of course we are all artists as well, but what is more fascinating is that we also share the same motivations for making art, and share a belief in the possibility of it being divinely inspired. Perhaps there is some truth to this whole astrology thing. The website thesecretlanguage.com claims to have collected and studied the life stories of 20,000 people over 40 years, and this is how they describe people born on December 16th: visionary, imaginative, guided, impractical, out-of-touch, and troubled. The website also has this to say:
Those born on December 16 are among the most imaginative people in the year. This is not to understate their physical side, however, which is highly developed and stakes out its claims on their personality as well. As a matter of fact, one of the major themes in the lives of December 16 people concerns transcending physical limitations of the body and reaching for the stars . . . December 16 people are not the easiest to live with. Emotional problems of all sorts plague them, usually as a result of their own complex nature. Those who live with them must be extraordinarily understanding and sensitive to their needs, not the very least of which may be a need for periodic solitude . . . Often December 16 people feel guided or even instructed by a higher power in whose service they find themselves. This power may be social, religious or universal in nature, but ultimately liberating for them. Through this association they are freed from their earthbound problems at least for a time . . . December 16 people are capable of feats requiring titanic energies. Once they are directed towards an inspiring but also realistic goal, there is little that can stop them from achieving far-reaching success in their work. Yet, they can be easily sidetracked and fall prey to all sorts of slights, real or imagined, annoyances and (to them) trivial problems involving other people’s feelings, to which they are not always the most sensitive. Living on what may or may not be a high spiritual plane or metaphysical cloud they can have trouble relating to those mere mortals busy with more mundane and petty considerations . . . Explosive reactions alternating with remoteness or indifference, manic periods followed by depressions, the highs of laughter and the depths of deep silence are all colors found on the December 16 palette. The most successful of those born on this day find expression for their high idealism and feelings through creative work, hobbies or social activities. Thus they are able to communicate with and touch their fellow human beings through shared interests.
Not exactly glowing reviews, especially the whole prone to mental illness and depression thing, but if I am honest with myself and my flaws, and I am, I have to admit this is very accurate. And this is where art comes in for me. Art (music, visual art, and writing) is not only a catharsis for me, it has allowed me to confront my flaws, and to hopefully work at getting beyond them. Art, then, is my path toward spiritual growth and transcendence. Art is my religion.
“Lend your ears to music, open your eyes to painting, and... stop thinking! Just ask yourself whether the work has enabled you to 'walk about' into a hitherto unknown world. If the answer is yes, what more do you want?” Wassily Kandinsky
If you enjoyed the live version of Blood Promise by Swans (recorded 1997) above, I hope you may enjoy the studio version below, released in 1994. It is a very different song, and short, about four minutes long. It is the kind of song I think I might like to fall in love to.