There Is More to Life Than Being Right – (notes on not writing #2)

Everyone wants to be right and it’s the most important thing in the world. It feels exciting and invigorating. But this hardly resonates.

To be right, has a temporary glow… but also, to be right… sucks. It sucks the life out of everything. I mean, the way we’re treating it now. It’s rigid and, the way we’re treating it now, unintelligent.

To be right has become the most banal aspect of contemporary existence.

Writing is more difficult than ever. And also easier. Because of the culture of RIGHT.

It’s enough to make you feel done with language, with writing. To give up everything. To just give up. Because to write, to use your words – this involves taking a position. Do I need to be right, to write? Because there is more to life than being the one who is right.

We’re dealing with an actual detachment from reality. Because truth is not only what we are speaking at any given time. We’d like to believe that it is, but truth changes as quickly as we figure it out.

What is truth? You can’t always be right and also have the truth. It’s impossible. Truth is filtered through the material world, but it can not be caught by you. Truth is a phenomenon created by the sum total of an infinite multitude of ideas and perspectives. Truth is a multitude.

And this is why we need poetry.

Poetry calls us to remind ourselves how foolish we are in being so right. In pretending to have all the answers. In our righteousness against the assholes.

Because there is no right answer in poetry. There is no “figuring it out” once and for all. No one single truth or perspective. And there isn’t supposed to be. Because this would not even reflect all that art is capable of – nor all that we are capable of. Art understands us even beyond ourselves. Reflecting reality as a complex multitude beyond one single ego — one single ego whose tragic flaws art also reveals, so that nobody can be a god.

The “one single ego” of the artist or the writer – that’s just a personality. The artist, or one who creates, is a medium for an aspect of truth – like all beings. But the artist occupies oneself with this phenomenon specifically. But this doesn’t mean the artist is supposed to be right either. To be so right and so perfect, that would be the creation of something stagnant. And what would be the point of that? To end ourselves?

We don’t actually need to be right, much as we act as if. And we can’t give up on writing – especially not poetry, which doesn’t need to be right – it just needs to show. There’s people out there who really wish we would, just give it up. We all know them. And we can’t help but disappoint them. Truly. And this is okay. In fact whatever we do, it will disappoint someone. And that’s marvelous.

This is the reason it is worth it to keep going. Not to make more points. Not to be more right than they are. But to imagine. All of what is possible. If we existed only to please, then nothing original would ever get made or done. Because so often, what is original begins by embodying what is not-right.

And as for the whole? Not just the artists. The “everyone”? It is a fact that if we compromised on everything so readily, then nothing would ever change. And we could not dare to hope for a better world.

But this does not mean we are the god of intelligence. Is our opinion seriously, honestly, the highest intelligence possible? The highest world order? Please.

We’ll do better, in today’s climate, to celebrate how wrong we can be.