If I could slice that part of myself out and I only had a blunt knife, I'd consider it. It's an ongoing issue, this lack of worthiness thang. I've written about it before on this blog. It's an ongoing refrain not just of mine but of most everybody who writes, or sculpts, or paints, or does something creative in a culture that despite its Apple ads really does not value innovation from people.
This guilt is the most depressing utilitarianism. It's the same harsh-scratching grey-robed dullness that says I shouldn't be writing by hand because it's not efficient. I'm a major fan of writing by hand. I find that there is something soothing about it so that though the dirgevoice says it's not efficient to write by hand, in actuality, for someone who is a raging fire of anxiety a great deal of the time lately it's quite efficient in the end, thank you very much. It gives me the space to breathe, for time to slow down, just me and the pen moving across the page, the emptiness of the page something exciting, a container that may be filled by something that I'm not even sure of, even while I'm doing it.
|CC pic by Jugni|
Efficiency is not worth a great deal if you don't ever get started because you're cowed down by the voice that makes something fun into dreariness and repulsive cubicleness. Do it this way. This is the best way. Only this way. The world is full of those voices and they're really fucking tedious. And yet here I have my very own in my own head. Maybe it's an understandable virus of the age that says the only way for me to produce is to cubicle myself into chunks of bland party cheese. Maybe I need to inoculate myself out of this idea that the best way is a depressing bland one that vampirically sucks all the joy out. I spent some time this afternoon reading about well-known writers who also do this apparently insane thing of writing by hand.
I don't even hold to this efficiency-by-number-the-fastest-way-possible-is-the-best-because-time-is-money crap. And yet it rules over me so much, like seeping wetiko. It's so boring! And anyway, why does whether I write or how I write have to be linked to worthiness, based on whether I've achieved enough over the previous week? To prove my worth of existing on this planet? Just because that's what I feel like my life has told me doesn't mean I need to hold to it in Inner Susieland. If the kingdom of heaven is there, and all change flows from our insides outward, then this is exactly the place where I need to be pruning back that particularly ugly bush. That bush of guilt and holding yourself back because you're not worth it is a giant bush of massive ugly hairy testicles with big bits of pus drooling from them. Hell, not even pruning that bush ~ chop it down. No herbicides because Inner Susieland doesn't respond well to those sorts of chemicals. Cutting into the bastard and chopping out its roots and burning the whole thing in a bonfire that I dance naked in front of afterwards.
|Pic by Eris-stock|
So this voice, that tells me how and when to write, why is it linked to worthiness? Why does it not ever put forward its case as a way to better health, for example? If my own productivity is so valuable to it, then why not treat the vessel in a way that will ensure productivity, treat it with care, fill it with the things it loves, as a way to rehabilitation? Because that would be a bleeding-heart left-wing type of action, and that voice, if it was going to vote, would surely be right in on this Abbott government and whatever other austerity-measure-forcing far right-wing governments it could find in the world that punish the less so the more can keep gorging. That voice doesn't actually seem to be particularly focused on achieving good outcomes via the best way, but just on smashing me in the face with guilt. So why listen to a voice that's so lacking in imagination? I mean, I have to listen to those sorts of voices from the culture all bloody day.
Maybe that cultural familiarity is why I'm not tuned into switching that voice off quicker. After all, it's not just simply a voice I took from the culture, but one that came ready-packaged from within the bosom of my own family from as early as I can remember, so why the hell would I not have created an extra deep rut for it to burrow into? And the size of the rut is probably why I do not sometimes think earlier that it's really simply a case of reaching out with my trusty internal remote and switching that fucker's voice off.
That's it. Simple. I'm not listening to this thought. Switch off. And it is that simple. But it's not. The exhaustion comes from the relentless dirgelike way that it's back again the next day, and when you're a little exhausted to begin with you're weakened, dear boys and girls. Susie is life-tired. Sometimes, all the will in the world can't rise up because the plain exhaustion is there already, disengaging me from reaching for the remote and switching off an energy-draining voice. It's the relentless surrounding culture, it's Tony Abbott, it's the ongoing lack of response from editors when I put my all into pieces and pitches that aren't accepted. It's the inability of others to know what I need to do to be able to do even the little that I do. It's the constant rushing drain of return not exceeding investment. That's why some days I can't even get to the remote at all. All sick people know this space. That's why the breezy recommendations from those who are not here are so teeth grinding to hear at times.
Despite the beliefs of the relentless positivity brigade, switching off the negative voices isn't the end of the story. You could be excused from thinking, by reading the derisive way we comment to each other on online news spaces, that everyone is simply lazy, that willpower and force and application and a good positive outlook are all that's needed to get you to where you need to go. It's the neoliberal sexual fantasy. That way, whatever misfortune occurs to you can be blamed on you. But it's not that simple. Never that simple that a satisfactory result of a complicated situation is going to be something that would spurt from the same spout as the sort of kneejerk reactive blamethink we see on the net, and that we may even engage in ourselves ~ even if it's only from inside our own heads to ourselves.
We need more than willpower and application, good though they are. We need new containers to pour ourselves into. Completely new jars, whose frame will shape whatever new society we are going to come up with next. One that's worthy of us pouring ourselves into, and that recognises our inherent worth. Those sorts of containers contain natural stoppers that block out those voices that are so destructive and do so much damage. The ones that say some should get at the expense of others. There's classier containers than that. Like the one that says that what happens to the least of these is what happens to the most of these That's the type of container I'm dreaming of.
|CC pic Byrev|