Monday, September 06, 2004

Dear Bill

I don't think it's embarassing at all that you made your drawings in a mental hospital. I'll tell you what, there's probably a large percentage of artists and writers who would love to be able to admit that they had spent time in a mental hospital. It's a well-known fact that much of the world's powerful, visionary, and timeless art was made by people who had mental problems. And even you have written yourself that mental illness can give a man a rich world of visions and ideas to write down, or draw. Did you write something like that or did I imagine it? Either way, it's true. Anyway, I've always admired people who have written or drawn or made things as a way to ease the torment in their heads. It's like a pressure valve. Creating in this way is not only good because it brings interesting art into the world, it's also beneficial for the man with his 'madness'. I understand this not from some removed point of view, but from my own experience in this respect. The world of art (mostly writing, for me) is perhaps the greatest comfort in those times of deepest torment; those dark nights of the soul. That's also why the best art comes from pain and torment, and not joy and a comfortable life, with a stable, well-behaved brain.

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