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The greatest of artists are sometimes reduced to a state of frustration – for no particular reason.

It’s hard to understand why. This aggravated state arises in the most inopportune moments, when least expected, when an artist is in full and focused contemplation, relentlessly observing the world that lays around him – then as if coming out of nothing, BAM, this frustration appears – quickly spreading like thick molasses and permeating heavily through him. The artist feels, sees, smells and hears the world every passing day in ways that most people can’t – it’s an inconceivable process which cannot be explained, it has to be felt. It is, in itself – an overwhelming experience. Is this then a curse or a blessing? It can be argued that this ultra-awareness could very well become a heavy burden – for anyone. Much like with a potent drug, there are strong addictions present here. The artist clings on to the temporary gratifying experiences that stem from creating art – simply because those experiences are the fuel that is greatly needed to produce further creations. The typical artist’s broad work ranges from the inclusion of the tangible to the intangible. The thinker, philosopher and metaphysician delve in the study of the mind, and the logic and reason that stems from it. The painter, sculptor and sketch artist create visual representations of mental and physical realities. The writer, creates fictional worlds, or may choose to analyze different aspects of the current world, through essays, treatises and articles. For the typical penman, writing is a lonely job. The task may at times involve only the writer and his inner demons –a truly nasty combination. When the writer is at his best though – his mind is the best choice for companionship. When the writer is at his worst – loneliness sets in, and the mind turns into an ugly reminder that it’s “Just You and Yourself”. The great relief for all writers comes when loneliness is substituted by solitude, a much more pleasant state of mind. A writer’s mind is plagued with deep thought, sometimes philosophical and sometimes of a deeper type of understanding - of common and rudimentary every-day going-ons that most common folk take for granted. A poet is capable of producing textual beauty by simply observing the fluttering of a butterfly’s wings, and other such details, like the pollen that might be rolling off those wings, comparable to beads of water sliding off a duck’s back. An essayist, usually a writer who’s heavily reliant on introspection, can make a case for an “unsolvable” issue – and alter the minds of thousands of readers – by answering rare questions with unthinkable answers. Every writer makes you think, and in doing so – reflects his own thinking. This takes considerable energy.

Is there then, room for profound relationships, when all a writer does is think, think, think? All great thinkers have thrived on relationships, yet most of those relationships were unsteady, shaky and tumultuous at best. A relationship is based on trust, and mutual affection – but when priorities change, and work is placed on top of the to-do list – it gives way for a bitter wife, a resentful husband, and a rancorous and troubled connection. Worse comes to worse when the work that “has to be done” cannot even be carried out, because the working environment has become a private hell, where a sour mood now dominates – and depending on the couple’s personalities, the mood can either promote a great work, or kill any attempt to produce one. “Ignorance is bliss” – is a quote that re-asserts the belief that those who know less, are free to enjoy more. But the paradox here might be that there are so many things to enjoy that one won’t be privy to them unless that person goes on to be “less ignorant”. And while being “less ignorant” is always admirable, it still pre-disposes the common person to a life full of inquiry, which might not always lead to answers, which in turn, could very well lead to a frustrated state – and ultimately, misery. An artist, and a great mind – are (and should be) enemies of ignorance. One could always argue, that even when great minds are at their saddest, even when they’re clinging on to the last shred of reason and crying out for help to the heavens in complete and utter desperation…the joy that is felt when these minds are working, perfecting their craft – and most of all, when a breakthrough is achieved – the euphoric sentiment that is experienced, is incomparable to any sort of common joy. Maybe it’s this elated and sporadic feeling that makes the pain and anguish all worth it. Maybe Van Gogh was happier than most in his happiest moments. Maybe Sylvia Plath experienced a joy none of us will ever understand. So maybe, just maybe…all these tormented souls might have been much better off than we originally thought.