Tuesday, April 25, 2006

You Get It After You're Dead!

It's been a while, but this is a good one. I have a friend who came into a little money, or so they thought. Turns out, when they had the nerve to ask the family head about it, this is what they got. "You get it after you're dead." And they were, forgive me, dead serious. Still, always good for a laugh!

Now I haven't figured that one out yet, and I'm not sure I ever will, but the other day I figured one like it out quite by accident. I think someone was lamenting the whole "artists never make it until after they are dead" thing. I immediately, without thinking, responded that this was the way it was supposed to be. Then I realized that I wasn't being ironic; I was right.

I've written before about the whole "you can lead a horse to water but can't make it drink" thing. That was a hard one for me because I was a teacher. It was my job to make the horse drink, or so I thought. Then I realized that it wasn't supposed to be the challenge I had taken it for, and that you couldn't do it. That just depressed and frustrated me. I was so sure that if I couldn't do it I was a failure. Clueless. Forgive me. Then one day I got it. You're just supposed to lead the horse to water. Drinking has to be the horse's idea. You not only have to accept this one, you have to like it. And of course this goes for the rest of life: you not only have to accept the truth, you have to like it. Then again, you don't have to if you don't want to. Drink or don't, it's up to you.

But this is the deal with artist's always getting famous after they die. It's a good thing, believe it or not. We didn't hear it all our lives for nothing. It is the way it is, and the way it is supposed to be. The exceptions are so few, much fewer than we think. There are more aspiring artists that get off the bus in New York on just one day than there are famous artists. It's a fact. Artist's are not supposed to be famous in their lifetime. It ruins them. History is littered with artists who were famous in their day and we have no idea of who they are. It is almost impossible to be famous and be an artist. It is putting the cart before the horse. There's that horse again.