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Mandy Steward

Q: Are we limited to art as a means of perceiving the deeper reality?

Anais Nin: No, we’re not. The artist helps because (s)he dedicates (her) life to the craft that is going to enable (her) to express the deeper reality for you...(S)he’s dedicating all (her) time to that. We have other ways too. We have religion, we have philosophy, we have a million ways to give our lives another dimension.

Q. Is there something though in the daily life that could be used as a way of escaping?

Anais Nin: Not escaping! Not escaping! That was a word that we used to condemn the process with. That’s the word used by the enemy. There is a difference between escaping and transcending...We need something that gives life its meaning or rather reveals its meaning. The meaning is there, in human life, but we need the revelation of that meaning.
— Anais Nin, The Artist as Magician
Doctor, you say...what I see is an aberration caused by old age, an affliction. I tell you it has taken me all my life...to soften and blur and finally banish the edges you regret I don’t see...
— Monet Refuses the Operation by Lisel Mueller
At a certain point in your life, probably when too much of it has gone by... you will open your eyes and see yourself for who you are... especially for everything that made you so different from all the awful normals. And you will say to yourself... But I am this person. And in that statement, that correction, there will be a kind of love.
— Phoebe in Wonderland
In my home town, I never felt at home. In New York, New York City, in Greenwich Village, down among the cranks, and the misfits, and the one runners, and the has-beens, and the might-have-beens, and the would-bes, and the never-wills, and the God-knows-whats, I have always felt at home.
— Joe Gould
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I once read a book called My Name Is Asher Lev. I thought I loved the book because the main character was brave enough to be an artist. Several years later I realized that I loved the book because HE GOT OUT. All those years he didn't fit in, and then finally he got out of "their" reality. He created his own way. 

I went to a Katy Perry concert once. As I sat there in the very back row of the nose-bleed seats, surrounded by drunk middle-aged women, a young married couple, and a woman with her adult son, it dawned on me that Katy had created her own world. SHE GOT OUT. She made a place where she, as an adult woman, gets to play dress-up in gaudy costumes and innocently and strategically lead a club of Katy Kats.

There are other artists I love. Shel Silverstein, Edward Gorey, Maurice Sendak, Tim Burton, Quentin Blake, Ray Bradbury, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Joe Gould, Roald Dahl to name but a few. But really, how well do I know them? What I know is the worlds they created. Portal worlds in an attempt to get out. Worlds I don't want to count as "just" fiction. Worlds I want to climb into for real. So somehow, I'm gonna find a way. I'm going to find my own way to GET OUT.

That’s going to be a fascinating transition.
— The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
I don’t need to believe, I know.
— Carl Jung
If you are a dreamer come in
If you are a dreamer a wisher a liar
A hoper a pray-er a magic-bean-buyer
If you’re a pretender com sit by my fire
For we have some flax golden tales to spin
Come in!
Come in!
— Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends
I believed in the world. Oh, I wanted to be easy in the peopled kingdoms, to take my place there, but there was none that I could find shaped like me.
— Mary Oliver