Dear Dazai,

There are some things that we all need, the very basics of shelter, food and water. The need for affection, for contact.

Sometimes what we need most of all is to be needed.

There is a burden to that. It is a burden to be needed, but we ignore that. We ignore the pains for the craving that overwhelms us. We desire purpose and to be needed is one such, that when we lose it, we forget often who we are.

So we crave it again.

There is this idea that art is a selfish pursuit. That the creation of art is this display of narcissism to the world. A show of ego and self.

It could not be further from the truth.

Art is this small section of our soul that we share, piece by piece with the world around us, bleeding onto the page, in the desperate hope that someone, somewhere might feel something from it. That our soul might be worthwhile to someone else. That it might be craved.

Be needed.

That’s not to say that all art is good, or wholesome, or wondrous, or interesting. It might be these small, deep cuts to our soul but as with most things, we choose the bits we slice. As often as they are these things, they are just as easily their negative counterparts, or our desperation, our need to fulfil our other more base needs. So we slice off whatever we can, offer up our worst selves, or the bits that are most easily parted with, so that we might continue surviving.

This art is not good.

But it is worthwhile.

It’s worth something to someone and that’s the glorious thing about art. That one person who absorbs it and it resonates with them. That person who needs it as much as we need them to need it. That person who needs us.

So we are selfish.

Artists are selfish.

We need to be needed.

We need to know our souls, which are our offering to the world are worthwhile. We might seem needy, but that’s because we are. We need that validation because we’re offering ourselves to the world.

So that we might be needed.



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