Creativity and Vulnerability

Monday 19 November 2007

Jane and I have just been chatting about creativity and vulnerability. Seems that it is a constant difficulty as humans to be vulnerable, to be open to things - because being open means risking being hurt, and who the hell wants that, right? I feel better about being vulnerable since a month or two ago when I felt like I was wearing my heart outside my body. Shudder. What a ghoulishly unpleasant experience that was. But still - sometimes being open-hearted has to be a conscious effort. Life is a bit fat scary bitch sometimes, kids, that's for sure.

It's the same when sitting down in front of a blank page. It feels like you're being vulnerable in front of a giant cave where big ghoulies might be dwelling. I guess that's why so many creative people drink or take drugs. Facing the void is a frightening experience. It's why I really could handle a couple of puffs of a joint right now. It's why I really don't want to have a couple of puffs of a joint right now - because that doesn't solve anything, and it doesn't even make me write more ... although sometimes it does. But I want to be able to sit in front of the blank page and wait and feel empty and feel alright with feeling empty because really, everything is full. Right?

I am trying to be okay when I'm feeling crappy because I know it will pass. As soon as I realise this, the earth stops spinning so fast and it feels alright again. I stop blindly grabbing. How natural that state is. It doesn't matter if an hour ago I was having mountaintop experiences of calm and tranquility; fast forward the clock and it's Susie acting right out of her Brehaut genes (thanks Grandma, thanks Grandpa; mighty unobliged).

Resist not evil, some dude somewhere said, and I am starting to understand what that means a bit more, and that it applies internally as well as externally. Facing the fact that passing moments and emotions are just that is a key thing for me to be somewhat equilibrial. And that's one of the reasons why Jane said she feels so resistant to the idea of journalling. Being a Buddhist she is mindful of the temporality of our thoughts and feelings even more than I am, and what makes her resist writing them down is that somehow it is making them concrete. She likened it to a doctor taking a sample of your blood, and having the blood test results forever stamping you in time - this is how your blood is; this is how you are if you write down your snapshot in time.

It's true. It does feel vulnerable. There's always an inner thing of thinking that you are only presenting one side of yourself. If I write about this part of my personality, then people will think I'm like this all the time, and it's just not true. And of course there's always that part of you that feels fake, that you're only presenting one side of your personality. There are big giant wads of things that I don't even write about on here, which is why I wish I would do more journalling than I have been, because they must bear expression. This blog has become too much something I rely upon as a one-stop shop to suit my writing needs, and it can't be that way.

Anyway, kiddies, as I have so boringly whinged at you over and over again for the past few months, I haven't written anything more than a blog post for five months. When I was sick I thought that when I was well, then I would start writing. Well, now I'm well, and I can't for the life of me explain why I'm not writing. It's just that there's nothing concrete. There's no real gems of ideas jumping out at me.

What I really need to do is just sit down in front of that page and wait. If nothing else comes, I shall doodle triangles. If something comes - as it often does - it's not going to happen in an ethereal flash of inspiration - even though I have those quite often. It's going to happen with the crafting of something until I see its shape as it materialises. It's sitting with something messy and half-formed and not having any idea about where it's going and being okay with that. And I am okay with that. But for whatever reason I'm also really really really not okay with that at all. Paradox paradox everywhere. Paradox paradox in my hair.

Someone give me some bum glue so I can park my bum down and write something, before I go all blerty blerty blerty and melt into the floor :)

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