Feels a lot like dysfunction

April 14, 2016 Writing  No comments

I’ve always said that, to me, writing is like exorcising demons.

But no, not like, it is exorcising demons.

I just have to get it out. I can’t not do it — a sentiment many artists have said in one form or another.

And it sounds so romantic, doesn’t it?

So poetic.

Can’t you picture the writer toiling away at his desk in the wee hours of the morning, pouring his heart out onto the page, burning that midnight oil?

Can’t you see the musician, guitar in hand, trying out chords, scribbling and crossing out lyrics in a worn notebook, rearranging pieces until the song is just right, until it says what he needs to say, how he needs to say it?

Can’t you imagine the painter standing in front of her canvas—eyes fiery and ablaze—slashing her brush back and forth, color exploding in strokes, until that inner muse is spent and satisfied?

There’s something about seeing someone pour themselves so wholly into something that they come out transformed that moves us. (Cue any training montage in any movie, ever.)

But the truth is, the intensity. The rhapsody. The rapture. The obsession of creation….

Sometimes feels really fucking dysfunctional when you’re in the throes of it.
Like your coming undone. 

It doesn’t feel evocative. Or ingenious. Or visionary. Or innovative.

It most definitely does not feel graceful. Or wholesome. Or picturesque.

It feels a lot of time like fragmentation. Like being broken down, torn apart piece by piece, being skinned alive.

It feels a lot like stumbling around, just trying to catch your breath, gasping for air, trying to find the words to just get some goddamned relief from the torrent of shards and screams spinning inside of you.

In other words, in hurts. A whole fucking lot.

All in pursuit of that small fleeting moment where everything makes sense.

I don’t want to perpetuate the myth that you must suffer for your art. Or that to be a “true artist”–whatever the fuck that means–you must be in agony. 

But what I mean to say is that, sometimes, at least for me, my art is born out of the things that hurt me. The things that haunt me. Writing is how I make sense of those things.

Creation—bringing something forth from the string of dots you’ve connected in your mind, the threads weaving, strung through the air—often looks like days spent in a frenzied fervor, followed by a week spent in bed because you’ve used every ounce of reserved energy you possessed, convinced that you will never, ever be able to create another thing ever again.

Only to wake up one day, with the ability to see the world again, in all it’s beauty and terror, and get swept up in the madness and ecstasy all over again.

Because from the remnants and scraps, you’ve managed to rebuild something whole. Something new.

Bring forth something out of nothing.

Until next time, farewell & may your life never cease to be filled with wonder and curiosity.

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