Tale of a houseplant

Ottawa, July 23, 2023
Ottawa, July 23, 2023 (photograph) by Paul Politis

“Formerly, yes, art and culture, and the Apollonian and the Dionysian and all that, seemed terribly important. But today I’m satisfied if I can turn out a good picture, I don’t see problems anymore, in any case not philosophical problems. If I had to tell you why I’m a painter and why I spread paint on canvas, I should say: I paint because I have no tail to wag. […] It’s very simple. Dogs and cats and other talented animals have tails; their tails, with their thousands of flourishes, provide them with a wonderfully complete language of arabesques, not only for what they think and feel and suffer but for every mood and vibration of their being, for every infinitesimal variation in their feeling tone. We have no tails, and since the more lively among us need some such form of expression, we make ourselves paintbrushes and pianos and violins …”
Rosshalde, Hermann Hesse