This year, as it marches to its to a drumbeat of mortality, we've all felt some sort of loss--whether music or film, literature or sports or science... If you take part in the world at all, someone who has enriched your life somehow has shuffled off this mortal coil this year.
There's the inevitable cynicism that goes along with the mourning of celebrities, a rush by those who had no attachment to the fallen star of the day to mock the social media tidal wave of remembrances.
But if there's a light in all this--and it has to be a very bright light to chase off even a little bit of this year's shadow--it's this: art matters. Whatever your art; pop or esoteric, poetic or plain, child-like or infinitely complex, for every one of these people the world lost (and it is the world's loss, when we lose artists, no matter their chosen craft)... that outcry says that what they did with their time in this world mattered. To so many people. It's proof they left the world better than they found it. They've left something lasting behind.
And that's beautiful.
So those of us left, as we stare down the barrel of a year that could be worse than the one we've just survived... Make art. Create something lasting. Strive to be remembered, and to live bravely, and to never be content. Remember that art matters. Enjoy the people who make it while they are here with us.
And let's all leave this place better than we found it. That's our job now. Let's not let each other down.
Matthew Phillion is the writer of "The Indestructibles," part-time actor, occasional filmmaker. Currently on the lam in Salem with his trusty dog, Watson.