Saturday, August 4, 2012
How much would you pay to be hot?
From great pain comes great art.
Sometimes. Or sometimes you're just lucky to survive.
Take the author of The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold. Right after the book first came out, I remember being jealous of her success,. Great reviews, great sales, a movie deal.
Then I read her memoir, Lucky, about her rape and brutal beating by a stranger when she was in college. (The cops called her "lucky" because another rape victim had also been murdered.) Her parents had various excuses for not coming to the rapist's trial. Later, she became addicted to heroin. It was easy to trace the connection between her pain and her art.
Or take Sharon Draper's Out of My Mind. It's spent weeks and weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. It's about Melody, a girl born with cerebral palsy who cannot walk or talk, but who nonetheless is extremely bright. Sharon herself has a disabled child. That child is not Melody, but without that child, her book would never been born.
After great pain, a formal feeling comes
By Emily Dickinson
After great pain, a formal feeling comes –
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs –
The stiff Heart questions ‘was it He, that bore,’
And ‘Yesterday, or Centuries before’?
The Feet, mechanical, go round –
A Wooden way
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought –
A Quartz contentment, like a stone –
This is the Hour of Lead –
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow –
First – Chill – then Stupor – then the letting go –
Can you think of others who have paid a lot for their success? Or who have found a way to translate their pain into art?