I Often Find Myself Quoting Musicians

Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell

“An artist needs a certain amount of turmoil and confusion.” — Joni Mitchell

I often find myself quoting musicians. Music, it seems to me, is akin to writing in many ways. Both do, or should, access deeper layers of the soul. Putting words to those layers is difficult; but I imagine that finding the notes for them is equally challenging. Except, of course, when they flow from the puddled middle where they lie in wait for the exact moment. So, tell me someone, why it is that I prefer silence to music most of the time.

M L S Baisch


Vincent van Gogh Self-Portrait with Straw Hat

Vincent van Gogh
Self-Portrait with Straw Hat

Vincent van Gogh, in a letter to Theo, talked about fear and how it keeps a person from acting, of how intimidating the blank canvas could be. It’s pretty much the same with anything, especially anything new a person undertakes to do. Where to begin? What is right, and what is wrong? And, does it matter?

And it really doesn’t matter. Life is about the doing more than about the results. The results are good or bad depending on who’s doing the judging. Many, many people didn’t think much of van Gogh’s painting. As we judge ourselves, we always get better when we persist on doing. And, when the doing is over, life is sort of over as well.
van Gogh said it like this: “”Many painters are afraid of the blank canvas, but the blank canvas IS AFRAID of the truly passionate painter who dares – and who has once broken the spell of “you can’t . . . . Life itself likewise always turns towards one an infinitely meaningless, discouraging, dispiriting blank side on which there is nothing, any more than on a blank canvas . . . . But however meaningless and vain, however dead life appears, the man of faith, of energy, of warmth, and who knows something, doesn’t let himself be fobbed off like that. He steps in and does something …”
M L S Baisch