Some people think great creative works fall from the sky abundantly, like rain, rather than being being the unique and irreplaceable products of literally years of preparation, training and work, that means each one can never be replicated ever again.
We treat creators with such callous, cavalier indifference, not recognising the gifts that have been laid at our feet, imagining that if this creator perishes, another one of equal quality will be along any minute. We fail to acknowledge and appreciate how special each creation is and cherish each artist for their own personal perspective, in showing us how to see differently.
My son and I witnessed one of the very last live performances of the late Chester Bennington. The band was tight and well-rehearsed, the sound quality was superb and the performances as impeccable as they were passionate and authentic. Listening to him sing, he would have been the last person you would imagine would take their own life, in despair, a few short weeks later. The music he made was sublime.
Some members of the audience, far from soaking up their good fortune for being able to witness a moment that can now never be repeated, saw it instead as an opportunity to get drunk and cause offence to other audience members, resulting in their bodily removal from the arena, by security. What a waste. What a missed opportunity. The artists put an elaborate show on the road, with care and expense taken to present great sound, staging, lights and video and they travelled thousands of miles to present it, on these nights, but these audience members were wholly absent at a moment of precious artistic performance, the like of which we shall never see again. I wonder if they even paused for thought at the news of a rock singer’s untimely death.
Creativity and creators are fragile and ephemeral. You never know when they might be gone, forever. Each of their creations is a gem. You can’t imagine their works will continue to be cranked out in indefinitely, like some automated, robotic production line. Each batch of songs could be their very last.
Appreciate beauty for what it is. It’s the short-lived blooming of a delicate mind-flower that can easily be destroyed and lost. Be mindful and grateful that people struggle to fill the world with works that soothe, understand and reach your emotions. Be thankful that all the ugliness in the world is counterbalanced to the extent that artists are able to create aesthetic delights.
Were it not for artists, the world would descend into venal, nasty, squalid brutality, with no relief or respite from the constant assault. Some, of course, don’t care how debased your existence is, so long as theirs is opulent, but artists do. They seek to uplift and edify everyone. Can there be a greater act of generosity, especially when the personal cost is often so high?
Thank you for the music, Chester Bennington. Thank you for sharing your gift and your pain, so that others didn’t have to feel so alienated and alone. Rest in perpetual peace.