Before Alice had time to knock on the door, she heard the Mad Bunny yell out, “Come on in, it’s open!”
Alice walked into a spacious, creatively very messed up room. An old concert piano sat in one corner, domineering the space, with a guitar laying on top of it. Alice noticed a few curiously shaped objects which she assumed to be musical instruments; the ones she’d never seen before. She couldn’t resist touching them, and it made her wonder about the sound they spawn. In the centre of the room there was a basketball hoop and stand with a pile of crumpled paper balls beneath it. She walked to the big drawing table and inspected it with great interest. There were several unfinished sketches of the Mad Bunny and a notebook with what looked like hieroglyphic writing. Well, maybe not hieroglyphic, but just as illegible, Alice thought as she stepped away.
“Watch where you’re going!” Too late. She almost tripped over a stack of books, and looked in the direction of the Mad Bunny’s voice. She could only catch a glimpse of his ears poking behind a large canvas.
“What’s that you’re painting?” Alice was intrigued.
“A Masterpiece.” the Mad Bunny ceremoniously declared.
“Can I see?
“Not until it’s finished.”
Alice was disappointed, but she didn’t insist. She understood that an artist bares their soul when exposing their art to the world. That in itself is a process she herself knew only too well.
“Make yourself at home,” said the Mad Bunny. “There’s tea and coffee…“ he motioned with his hand towards the kitchen, then turned his attention back to the work in progress at hand.
As Alice disappeared from view, the Mad Bunny yelled after her, “Then come back here to tell me about your meeting with the Great Wizard!” Then, speaking more to himself, the Mad Bunny muttered, “That’s one character I’d want to meet someday…”
“I met The Great Wizard When I was searching for The Truth,” said Alice as she reentered the room with a cup of coffee in her hand. “You can imagine how mind-blowing it was, having the privilege to meet The Man himself… I was so excited I couldn’t eat or sleep for days… Anyway, he took one look at me, then reached into his bag and gave me the mushrooms that make you really big then really small. He told me I’d be wise to eat them, and I thought I’d be wise to listen to the Great Wizard, so I did.”
“And…” the Mad Bunny was so curious that he stopped painting for a moment to look at Alice, “what happened then?”
“What happened could only be compared with a system upgrade, one that caused the stretching of my mind, and for days it felt like I was wearing a loose, oversized head that needed to be filled up with all the new data that was received. Fuck.. at times, it still feels like that.”
“I saw things that can only be felt, so it is impossible to put them into words. But what I saw changed how I am. For better and worse.” Alice sighed deeply.
“That is fascinating, Alice. You seem like someone who has a lot to say, so why don’t you say it?” asked the Mad Bunny.
“I used to think I had something to say, but that was before I ate those mushrooms that made me really big, then really small.” said Alice. “Now I don’t know anymore. Whenever a I feel propelled to voice a thought, I realise that it has been thought before, and said before, and probably done before too. And in light of this the prospect of expressing myself isn’t so appealing anymore.”
“Sounds like those mushrooms did a number on your ego, my dear.” the Mad Bunny nodded. “You were naive to believe a word the Great Wizard told you. Any fool knows that the key ingredient you need to make art is your ego. You must find a way to get it back. Artists are naturally egocentric. Writers too. Like it or not, but if you want to be a writer, you gotta feel enough self-importance to believe that others actually want to hear what you have to say.”
“But I can only talk about myself“, Alice exhaled in desperation.
The Mad Bunny took one last critical look at the painting in front of him. “All great works of art are the result of the artists’ ability to talk about themselves. Even Leonardo’s Mona Lisa is a self-portrait.” he said as he revealed his masterpiece to Alice.
Photograph from the series Mad Bunny by Yves Lecoq