Nick Cave has responded to a fan who asked him what he thinks “the point of life” is.
The Bad Seeds singer answered Beau on his The Red Hand Files blog earlier this month, laying out his argument that “we must first understand what it is to be human” in order to find meaning.
“We are capable of the greatest atrocities and the deepest sufferings, all culminating in a vast, collective grief. This is our shared condition,” part of Cave’s blog post reads.
“Yet happiness and joy continue to burst through this mutual condition. Life, it seems, is full of an insistent, systemic and irrepressible beauty. But these moments of happiness are not experienced alone, rather they are almost entirely relational and are dependent on a connection to the Other – be it people, or nature, or art, or God. This is where meaning establishes itself, within the connectedness, nested in our shared suffering.”
He continued: “I believe we are meaning-seeking creatures, and these feelings of meaning, relational and connective, are almost always located within kindness. Kindness is the force that draws us together, and this, Beau, is what I think I am trying to say – that despite our collective state of loss, and our potential for evil, there exists a great network of goodness, knitted together by countless everyday human kindnesses.
“We reach out and find each other in the common darkness. By doing so we triumph over our collective and personal loss. Through kindness we slant, shockingly and miraculously, toward meaning. We discover, in that smallest gesture of goodwill laid at the feet of our mutual and monumental loss, ‘the point’.” Read his answer in full here.
Cave’s comments follow him discussing how he has found comfort throughout his own grieving when performing live to fans. The Australian singer-songwriter has lost two sons in the past seven years.
Cave’s son Arthur died in 2015 after falling from a cliff in Ovingdean, near Brighton. In May of this year, Cave’s son Jethro Lazenby also died, at the age of 31. The musician later thanked fans for sending their “condolences and kind words”, adding that they were “a great source of comfort”.
In a recent interview with The New York Times, to promote his new memoir Faith, Hope and Carnage, Cave talked about how the support he received from fans has helped him throughout his grieving process.