Eve Tushnet, “The Death-Haunted Art of Friendship: Part IV”
Finally, art is a way to assert, against the comment boxes and the pious sighs, that the lives of addicts matter more than their deaths. While everyone else looks at your friends and says, “What a waste,” seeing lost causes or statistics or nothing at all, through artistic creation you can say that this person had an individual reality and full personhood. On that new Mountain Goats album, the one with the song for Amy Winehouse, there’s another ballad about some very messed-up people living together, waiting, not yet ready to hope. The lyrics go:
And just before I leave
I throw up in the sink–
One whole life recorded
in disappearing ink.
By crafting art born out of love, surviving friends can hold the lives of their dearly departed up to the light so that the ink will darken—and never disappear.
This is my commonplace book and sometime-journal.
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My book is here: Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality.
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