How do artists cope with depression in a world so mundane and lacking meaning?
The philosophers philosophy for meaning, whilst prophets prophesy to teach – Though in all they dance, shake and make do with the spirits in their wine glass.
All those whom we label ‘sages’ or ‘intellectuals’ hide from the world aware of its sorrow and mere glimpses of infinitesimal explosions of happiness. And we, in this cattle system of a world search for the good life as though they were one.
Let’s hear the heart of a rich man if it’s not the same as the poor. The human condition is one. This mental capacity that has made us superior to other animals is also our downfall.
Yearly, new self-help books from businessmen who masquerade as saints, who are sent to show us the ways of happiness are printed and bombarded in our faces. These are sometimes forced down our throats as though we are battery hens been fed corn and readied for slaughter.
But, deep down you cannot deny that the same bozo businessmen are also torn and overcome by the weight of existentialism.
Frankly, the pursuit of happiness is futile. You can’t pursue something that doesn’t have a destination.
Pain is the elixir of truth. And that truth, when it is given life in words or painting or some other form of artistic expression, can be the most beautiful and enduring thing.
Although, we could talk of Charles Bukowski and his poignant poetry and discern that depression is a human condition known and experienced by all.
For that reason, we should no longer hide from depression and keep it a secret. Rather, we should embrace it as close as possible without letting it swallow us.
Art influenced by depression has made immortality certain for those who are no longer in this realm of existence. And their names and works walk amongst us as though they are still living. So, it is possible that we, just like them, can craft light out of darkness.
Therefore, be content with life’s mundanity.
For the wolf howls at the moon, the whale sings its sorrow soaked songs. And we are all nature’s forsaken crying out for answer and meaning.
So, in light of World Mental Health day, I write these words knowing that man as whole is suffering and if you be alone and wanting companion, know that I too have felt your soul.
Chris is an Arts writer and photographer with keen interests in culture, arts and international relations.