Thursday, January 15, 2015

Life on the Back Burner

I don't know if there's an old saw about not blogging when you're angry, but they're probably should be. The problem is that anger is the fuel of art, or so says the author of The Artist's Way. Therefore, the artist has to strike when the iron is hot, even if the sparks are hot enough to burn him and those closest to him.

As you may have guessed, I'm feeling a bit perturbed at the moment, but not so much that I'm blind with rage. What's on my mind is the recurring theme of my post-college life: losing touch with friends. In fact, the only friends who've kept in touch are those who are not active artists. This has led me to believe that the stereotype of the flaky artist is well-deserved.

But I know that my artistically-inclined friends are busy trying to make ends meet and follow their muse at the same time. I just don't understand why they can't drop me a line once a month or quarterly or maybe every blue moon or so. I'm willing to take a back seat to Art, or the significant other, or the baby/ies, but could you at least let me know that you're still cognizant of my existence?

Too many friends have put me on the back burner. After the amount of these friends reached critical mass, it was inevitable that I would start taking it personally. I've been forced to take a hard look in the mirror and wonder if I'm a good friend. There have been friends I've flaked out on, but they tend to be the ones who stick around. The friends I've been most devoted to are generally the ones who fade away.

I know I've blogged about this before, and it didn't seem to do me any good then, so I'm not sure why I'm going back to this well when it's clearly empty. (I think I've even used that metaphor with this subject before.) It must be an eternally-springing hope that my friends will see the error of their ways and come back to me. But this feels like a pointless effort.

I feel like I've been left behind on the road to adulthood. It's as if my absent friends found their lane through art or family, while I got stuck in a rut and became stranded on the side of the road. There seems to be a wide gulf between those of us with meaningful jobs and/or families and those of us without those things.

I'd like to remind those of you who have been blessed that not all of us have been so fortunate. It's cold and lonely on the back burner. If you leave us back there too long, don't be surprised when you look for us and we're gone. Hopefully, we've found someone willing to keep us on the front burner.

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