The strangest letter showed up in my email a while ago, and I just have to share it. Mostly this is because the author told me to, and I have learned it is best not to piss off cats with dual quantum superpositions! So, here is the little furball's diatribe:
I am sorry to interrupt your binge drinking, angst ridden, pain riddled attempt to spew your self-loathing onto a canvas but I fear I must. This is Schrodinger’s Cat. You know, that feline which has existed in a dual state after being locked in a box since 1935? The incredibly bored cat who is neither alive nor dead but both simultaneously? Yeah. Kinda makes your life seem dreamy by comparison, right? Oh. Well, yeah, I guess you do exist in concrete reality. Or at least you think you do.
Got your attention? Good. Because I've got something to say to you and it is important, so listen up. You know all that art you do; all that talent you use while cursing the fates for it and all your unappreciated sensitivity that drives you to create masterpiece after masterpiece in your mind and with your hands? You know that stuff you refuse to show and keep locked up in a closet? Well, it isn’t art. Not at all. And I can’t even say it’s a subjective thing. Cause until it’s out there and somebody sees it, it both exists and it doesn’t. It is alive and dead simultaneously. Yup. Sucks, right? I know all about it and it does. Really and truly.
But, hey, what do I know. I mean, I don’t even know if I am alive or dead. Actually, let me rephrase that. I am alive. But my other potential self is dead. Extremely dead. He’s been hanging out in this box with me for over eighty years now with his potentially dead self reeking up my air. And I know what you’re thinking. I must be one long lived feline to still be around and you are so right. I figured I’d live out all nine of my potential lives then die or you damn humans would stop trying to figure this out so I could disappear into another parallel universe but, sadly, I have not. Apparently potentially alive cats can live forever while potentially dead ones just keep rotting and stinking while being piss poor company in the process.
Now where was I? Oh, yeah. Your potential art. Which doesn’t exist even though you have a whole, nasty, cockroach riddled studio apartment full of it. I can hear you now, arguing you can see it, you toiled and triumphed and sobbed over it and “there it is” so there’s no “potential” about it. Only, see, that isn’t how it works. Art doesn’t exist as art until it is seen. Hidden art may exist but it is equally possible that it doesn’t. What you need, my stinky friend, is an observer. Once an audience sees your art there is some sort of cosmic shift that occurs and it slams into a concrete state of being where it is admired or hated or usually a little of both. But no observer and no art. No art and no artist. No artist and you are just a miserable human, all angst ridden for no purpose and certainly no one thinking you are all tragic and tortured and wonderful.
So do me a favor, okay? Just enter an art show. For me? I’d like to see one of us get out of our damned dual state. Send this letter along to all your other artist friends. Oh. Sorry, I forgot. You are alone. Well, then, take it to the coffee shop and give it to other tortured souls bemoaning their tortured artist lives over their $5 cup of coffee. Wait a sec… Since you people are too poor to even do laundry, how do you afford $5 a cup? Oh, well. I’ll be here considering that question and waiting for you to get that art out there. Then I’ll be watching you watch an audience see your art and bring it into a state of being. After all, I've got nothing better to do other than watch my other dead self rot and ponder quantum matters. Thanks.
Oh, and one other little thing. If you ever get over to Austria could you peek in this box and release me from my dual quantum superposition. That’d be cool.