Jes Raymond

& The Blackberry Bushes

Apathy is the Enemy of Art

You can’t be an artist and be apathetic. You have to be consciously open to growth and change. Sometimes we don’t need a wholesale change, just a pivot, but we do have to see the problems we face. We can face them with determination or curiosity, but we have to face them. 

Often if a mistake keeps getting me, I need to just care enough to slow down and find the two notes, one after the other that have developed a conflict. I can’t just accept that a passage is hard and let it be muddy. I have to care, and I have to connectrate, and I have to work to change. 

The Black Lives Matter movement is showing us that there is a mistake in our way of living that most Americans have been aware of but have allowed to be there. I did. I’ve known for a long time that black Americans are incarcerated at much higher rates than white Americans. I accepted that as the way things were. It has taken the education of the Black Lives Matter movement to see my own apathy, that this is not something we should just accept. We should face it, care, concentrate, and make some changes. And we can. 

Art can teach us how to grow.

 Science tells us that we make most of our decisions from emotional centers and use our logic to defend our positions. But doesn’t knowing that give us the freedom to examine ourselves with the knowledge that that is our tendency? 

I have to believe that if we can move beyond our apathy and our beliefs that we are a certain way, as people and as a community, that we can get better, that we can grow, that we can change.