Sunday, July 6, 2014

Art is a Team Sport

Writing is an expression of thought, and my given form of art. I've been drawn to language and the use of it from an early age. I have an intimate relationship with the format and I feel like I'm cheating when I'm not at it regularly, like checking out of a relationship with a friend, or a lover, or a family member- knowing that you're keeping them at arms length, maybe out of necessity, maybe out of self involvement, or maybe out of self preservation; After all, the things we love are not always good for us. Right now, writing feels like the giant, open mouth of a volcano that I just keep throwing things into and watching them burn before they ever even hit the magma surface. 

I feel fairly self aware as to my intentions with writing. I think chiefly among them is the fear of regret at the end of my life, spending my last moments fearing that I haven't left my mark, a legacy that I can be contented with and allow myself to pass in peace. If death came tomorrow, I would not be in that serene place, willing to let go of life gracefully. I would claw and cry and bargain and beg, I would be a terror to behold to those around me and probably cause irreparable damage with my sad agony.

In the running with that dark reason for my writing romance, however, is inspiration. I want to leave something that can ripple into an idea that helps change the tide of the world. Perhaps by fault of my own, I'm not all that skilled at bringing problems to a conclusion but I am really good at observing the problems and studying them from all the sides. One of the things that cripples me with anxiety attacks (just happened today, in fact!) is that I am caught between participation in the system out of necessity and seeing how it is changing me for the worse. I have sold off so much of my mental real estate to the accumulation of life, either by duty or just being swept up by the path of least resistance, and now I'm in my thirties and the thing I've known I wanted to grow up to be since before I was a teenager is further away than it has ever been. 

I like my job and don't mean to cast them as the villain, it's not about the place I work. It could be anywhere. It is happening everywhere. If anything, the fact that I like what I do well enough makes it more difficult to escape the gravity. I am selling my life to another man's dreams. A man who doesn't even know me. A service he couldn't possibly respect as much as it's earned and a sacrifice he will never mourn. 

Trying to buy back the necessary mental real estate to dedicate to the task of becoming a full time author is impossible. So much of my mind is spoken for, boxed in and compartmentalized into neat clear and orderly spaces required for performing work duties, familial obligations and relationship maintenance that the paths between these roads are carved deeply and tread so thoroughly, inspiration should be all around me but I can't see it. Every day is the same. All of the sights I pass are the things I've seen a million times- they're all just a backdrop on a path from here to there, and there to back, and over and over. To keep from seeing the set dressing and reminding myself how mundane each day is going to be, I've let my once sharp eyes relax. I've let the world blur. I've given away my eyes to protect my mind. I kind  of want to freak out and let myself lose control, like doing something drastically irresponsible and out of character might fuck up all those piles and walls and roads between the spaces in my life, but my love and responsibility to my loved ones would never allow me to be so selfish.

So I write this is hopes that another person can be inspired to be creative, take a path home from work that ins't the same. Hold on to the wonderment of the things you see and turn it into an artistic fuel for someone else to absorb and churn out their own expression. Creativity is a fossil fuel that we are dangerously low on, but the good news is that it is a renewable source. Share your art and inspire somebody else. I hope that works, anyways. I was never good at the endings. Never great at the solving of problems, so much as knowing that they're there.

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