After the election, you lost your ability to write. You told me you felt frozen. You were just trying to see clearly. What was the point of it all—the crippling doubt, the wrestling with words that will not bend, the tinkering with syllables, meter, form.
Should it be a villanelle or a rondeau, you asked yourself the night before. What a silly question now, you think.
What, you thought, when you woke up that morning, rubbing the gunk from your eyes. How.
You felt no commitment, no movement of soul, only a desire for retreat, for escape, for Netflix.
I know. I watched all of NARCOS Season 2 over two days in mid-November.
We have to be reminded to stop that. To get up, approach our art with a sort of painful, joyful urgency. Reminded to keep going, to hope against hope, to double down on our dedication to the good, the beautiful, the true.
Someone reminded me. So I am reminding you.
We need your wisdom, your wit, your impatience. We need your villanelle, your rondeau.
We need your pen, your bristle, your microphone. Your hammer, stone, and chisel. Your Gibson and your Kodachrome.
Do not let Donald Trump—of all people—cause you to question your vocation as an artist.
This world is still being made. You have work to do.
Someone told me, so I am telling you.
Do not be afraid.