Monday, June 28, 2010

"The Arts Are Not Extracurricular"

On the importance of making art, from Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So*, a memoir
by Mark Vonnegut -- Harvard-educated practicing pediatrician, son of Kurt, and four-episode psychotic:

The arts are not extracurricular.
Art is lunging forward without certainty about where you are going or how to get there, being open to and dependent on what luck, the paint, the typo, the dissonance, give you. Without art you’re stuck with yourself as you are and life as you think life is.

* To be released October 5

Friday, June 4, 2010


“Yes,” I said. It would take ten minutes. How could I say no? “Send me the buccal-swab kit.”

But it wasn’t just a yes to ten minutes of swabbing some cells from the inside of my mouth and sending them to be tested for what was already a potential match as a bone-marrow donor.

I'd looked ahead and knew that if my cheek cells confirmed the preliminary match, I’d say yes to giving an hour and a vial of blood for the definitive match. If that was a go, I’d stand at the rabbit hole where someone was struggling to live. And at that point, how could I say no?