February 13, 2013
Life’s Lament with Apple Crumble and Rhubarb.
There is no denying that life resembles a sort of crusty crumble. The top often hides the soft inner core, sometimes sweet, sometimes sour. It does come with risk of failure as well, especially if thrown together recklessly. I hate cooking by measuring ingredients and prefer failure to fiddling with scales and grams. I normally box the lot together and hope for the best. I live dangerously, at least in the kitchen. It’s all one can do at the age of endless advertisements on TV urging us into ‘funeral plans’ while still alive. (Please, keep off the grass)
The really lucky ones, I often think, are those able to make a living from their creative instincts. You sometimes see them being interviewed, perhaps an opera singer, a composer or a Latvian ceramic artist, world famous, who are on top of their output and are known by the all glitterati. Presidents and other despots are queuing up to be photographed standing next to them. They are running the crest of the wave and earn a good living from their art. There can’t be a greater satisfaction than to live from one’s own creative output. To live from what one really feels passionate about doing. Some might really want to work as a welder, run a farm or make model trains. That’s lovely and exactly what I mean. That’s what creativity involves; let’s not put too fine a point or limitation on creativity. Anything goes in my book.
Alas, this had eluded me so far but enjoying somewhat the nasty schaden Freude and consolation that it eludes most of us. The operative word that springs to mind is ‘compromise’. It’s the banana skin on the doorstep of the life of ‘l’artiste’. How to make a quid from art, that’s the question? I wonder how Shakespeare managed or old Rembrandt Van Rijn, Caravaggio? I don’t think there were any social services available then. Didn’t Mozart got buried in a pauper’s grave? He did not sign up with Aami’s funeral plan. Perhaps a rich red mitered Bishop or an aristocrat Von Richhovenvorstendom propped up the artists at that time?
Why do I get tears everytime I hear this music?
In any case, no President has requested or queued up to be photographed next to me, only the local Butcher years ago when Channel TV 9 wanted to do an interview about my plunge into the world of vasectomy, ‘performed’ by a female doctor aptly named Barbara Simcock. She has performed over 14 000 vasectomies so far and counting. What she doesn’t know about testicles is not worth looking at! I once heard “Wall-nuts in wet socks”. She was ever so gentle.
The obvious answer would have to be that I am and never will be any of those giants, or even lesser ones, perhaps at best just a pigmy of an artist, worse, a kind of garden gnome of an artist, decorating a suburban garden with a white painted worn Chevrolet tyre around the bed of limping petunias and a leaning zinc alume fence as a backdrop for failure. Oh the ignominy of it all, what fate?
Space and the lack of storing all my paintings forced me into downsizing and decided I would branch off in putting words in a certain order. My first word, if I remember correctly, was ‘exorbitant’ which I liked and followed this up quickly with another one called ‘exhortation’. Both have a nice ring to it, don’t you think, almost musical? It’s the vowels each time followed by the consonants, that does the trick. I am not sure of many words yet, and possibly, that’s the best way to be when writing. Words are inter-changeable and can also be deleted.
It never occurred to become something, I mean building a career in something. I don’t know; I could have been a bank director or dentist or a corporate accountant. Luck had it I managed money making fairly easily but not in monotonous jobs. I did work in a bank and offices for a while but the yawning ennui was mind numbing, sapping the spirit. I just never had much of an ambition or was driven to make myself into having a job of any importance. I always portrayed myself into the future, doing it year after year and came up with an apocalyptical ‘the horror, the horror”.
Perhaps I should have studied. I imagine going in the morning to Harvard University with a nice satchel casually slung over my shoulders, being greeted by other students and hurling myself in front of a politician’s car in some show of vehement protest. Sometimes I think it would be nice to have had a PHD. Dr Gerard Oosterman sounds nice (with Cum Laude). Too late for a career with the Police or Customs or flying a helicopter, swooping down on Kim DotCom in New Zealand. Now, there is a man passionate about his art, (fleecing multi nationals) and he is making a nice living.
As for the apple and rhubarb crumble, a huge success. Nice and tart, not too sweet.
Just like real life.