How does society view artists? What do they expect from us?
Jaron Cardew, author
Artists were invited to our parties--sometimes a musician, sometimes a writer. The cardinal rule was: look, but don't touch. It was understood they were entertainment, not our peers, friends, or lovers, though perhaps our toys.
One by one, party after party, the artists came. They fell all over themselves for the attention. Instinctively, they knew their place. They entertained us with their tricks. Mixed and mingled, then left promptly before we, the elite, grew bored with their presence.
Into this scene, a new artist strode. His head held high, shoulders back. Why all the confidence? Who was he? Was his art somehow nobler than the rest?
He wore a cheap "suit"--black jeans, blue shirt, and a black suit jacket. It wasn't appropriate attire for such a gala. We forgave him; we thought it was the best he could do.
The host introduced him, "This is author Jaron Cardew."
We waited to judge his work. Was it worthy of our time, our effort to listen?
Jaron began his pitch with a joke. Something like, "Who still reads books? Guess you do, eh?"
The room thundered with laughter.
He pulled a folded piece of paper out of his back pocket, unfolded it, and read...
Who was he?
His hair needed a cut, and his face a shave. His clothes were worn. Regardless wealth surrounded him--kings and queens, mansions, and castles.
What was he doing there? Was he a thief?
They observed him and realized, to their surprise, his focus wasn't on their wealth.
His secret: he possessed a gift their riches could never buy. This gift made acquisition of their tangible wealth unworthy of him. Magic poured forth from his fingertips. He conjured prose, verse--portals through which they could glimpse his exotic world. How they longed to remain there, forever. They, however, could only visit, and only if he guided them.
No one dared breathe.
Jaron took a sip of wine and broke the spell. "Want to hear more?" He refolded the paper and slipped into his back pocket. "Well, then, give me money so I can write."
Charmed, many wrote him cheques; others gave him cash.
Recordings I'm planning to do this week...
Monday: Jaron Cardew, author
(Wednesday's recording had to be canceled due to tooth pain. I'll be at the dentist. Hopefully, it won't be too painful. I have a good dentist. So here's hoping.)
Saturday: Still Life with Cats
Humour is a good way to end the week. Don't you think?
'Abby's adventure' photo by ldyck
On this Blog in September...
Sunday, September 6
Runaway (short story collection)
The ends of each of these eight stories fall like heavyweights in this deeply emotional collection.
Sunday, September 13
Lessons in Icelandic
What stories would you tell to introduce your culture? This short story was inspired by Icelandic folklore.
Sunday, September 20
Author reading on the radio
This short story recounts the day I traveled from Mayne Island to Salt Spring Island to read a story I wrote on the radio--a short trip but a big step forward.
Did you know that I've started recording stories for this blog? I've been doing these author readings for about two months. I'll post a link to the ones I've done soon.
Sunday, September 27
Hurry Home (thriller)
Can people change? That's the question Roz Nay addresses in Hurry Home.
A Joke for Autumn...