Posted in Dying Nigeria

Maybe I Should Make Art

TW // blood, suicide, fire




What’s the easiest way to go?

I know my med student friend already said that I won’t be able admire the beauty of the crimson finding escape through the slit I make in my wrist. He said I won’t even notice because my brain would be too busy. Too busy trying to figure out why it can’t do anything about the freedom. Blood isn’t meant to be free. It belongs in an endless cycle. To the heart and everywhere else, then back to the heart. So, putting a break in its path, stopping Yin from becoming Yang, that’s messing with balance, and without balance, there’s always a tilt. That tilt is my inability to admire it.

But I still think it’s art, and if it’s art, why do I have to admire it if everyone else can? The artist barely ever likes their work, so maybe it’s better if I can’t take it in. I’ll judge it less. The audience is meant to enjoy art, not the artist. The artist just enjoys the idea that their art is being enjoyed. If I know someone else will observe – even if it’s not me, maybe I should make art.

Art invokes emotions. Each and every kind. Art is supposed to make you feel. And I can already see everyone emoting. If I can make everyone feel anything at all, maybe I should make art.

I can make everyone feel, everyone that I think loves me. Mommy even. Ironic that I say I’ll never forgive her, yet here I am wondering what I can make her feel. If I go, I hope I get a little time to observe my audience. See what emotions I’m able to make. By making their emotions, I’m making more art with my art. If I can make more art from art, maybe I should make art.

I should do it by myself before anyone else gets to me. These politicians, they think they’re in charge of it all and can bend everything to their whims. They think they can be the artist, our nation their canvas, our blood their paint. While I do like the idea of being art, I also prefer to be artist. So, before they make art of me, maybe I should make art.

We made art today, Nigerians, to show them that they’re not the rightful artists. We made art of everything publicly owned by the man we deemed most responsible for making art out of us when we didn’t want to be art. We made art with nothing but his property and fire. I’ve always thought of fire as very beautiful, but the art today wasn’t exactly beautiful. They were the first to give us art we didn’t want to behold, they didn’t think we’d become artists too.

Today, I understood why they say fire rages. Watching 3 different points burn from our verandah (four if you count the tires they burnt on the next street), I saw the people’s emotions reflected in both smoke and flame. Rage. The fires raged as the people did. The rage that came with knowing that, not only did they make our nation bleed, they denied it. The governor said no one died. I could have sworn I saw a record of more than 80 before I let the tears roll free and choked on my own sobs so I could be as tired physically as I was mentally and I could finally convince myself to sleep. So were we all deranged last night as I am right now?

The 4 burning points made art out of art. The fires caused smoke that covered the sky. The blue and white canvas was quickly covered in…’dark’. That’s the fitting word. Fire the first art, darkness the next. They contradicted each other, yet weren’t independent of each other. The bright red-orange perfectly morphed into darkness. One was the other, yet they looked anything but the same. Much like how it filled me with horror to quite literally watch the world around me burn, yet it made so much sense that we were angry and we were showing it.

If you think all of this isn’t art, wait till a few decades from now when stories are written about it and movies are made. Art is how we express…everything. Art makes the complexities observable. So, maybe I should make art of myself.

But then, maybe I shouldn’t make art.

I see someone else who wants to make art of himself. He’s someone I love. I think of what happens if he does it, how I’ll feel as a member of the audience. Art evokes feelings but it’s also meant to be enjoyed. How do I enjoy something that feels me with nothing but agony? Regret? All of the wrong emotions. Where’s the line? Because we watch tragedies and feel so much sadness. Yet, we enjoy them. Then again, sadness isn’t agony. Maybe that’s the line.

If that’s the line, maybe I shouldn’t make art. I might be deluded, but I think some people do love me. And if all they’ll feel is agony, they can’t enjoy my art. I love it when the people that matter to me enjoy my art. If they can’t enjoy it, why did I make art? Maybe I shouldn’t make art.

But there’s more than one type of art. There’s also more than one way to bleed. Now that I’ve kept the blood flowing into my hands, into my fingers, I’ve found a new way to bleed onto the keypad. I’ve bled onto this page. And if I think it’s art to set my blood free, haven’t I made art now?

Maybe I should make art. Art that I can be both artist and audience for. Art that causes those I love the least pain. Art that I can come back from and I can be sure that I’ll see my loved ones react to. Maybe I should just bleed through my fingers instead of my wrist.

Maybe I should just make art.


Teen with the soul of a child and musings of an adult💖

One thought on “Maybe I Should Make Art

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