I don't always write well. Heck, if you listen to my inner critic (who sounds remarkably like my grandmother), I don't ever write well. It's OK...I don't always listen to my inner critic - she thinks I should wear makeup and actually give a damn about my clothing and how my hair looks. Pfft.
I believe that my best words come from the same place as my deepest sorrow. It's a dark place, this source; it's the same place where all of my creativity is born. Diving into this source is painful - it's cold and cutting, slicing shadows and serrated-toothed monsters gnashing and slashing as I sink into the depths hoping for one more spark, one more bit of brilliance to polish up and present apologetically to the world in hopes it will meet with approval.
I can see why artists and writers (who are also artists, in my opinion) have been known to drink or do drugs - sometimes it's tremendously difficult to face that place again, knowing what I have to pass through to get to what may (or may not) be the good stuff. I can understand wanting to dull the senses, silence the voices...or to enhance them, bring them into sharper focus, brighten them until they are painfully clear and almost - but not quite - surreal. Through ferment or chemical haze, things can be seen...differently...and may be easier to bear.
It's dangerous, though, going into the source while...altered. I prefer to face it, ugly or transcendent as it may be, on my own, as myself, in my own mind (while I can't ever claim it's my right mind, it is my own). I prefer to know that I can, eventually, find my way out again.
For that reason, and because my depression and other side dishes on the variety plate come from the same place as what little creativity I possess, I do not take medication to treat the illness. I did so for a time and lost my essential self. I found that, for me, the cure was worse than the disease - I needed to see the world through these disillusioned eyes, to see it without the hazy, rose-colored filter of chemical wellness. I needed to be miserable, to know that when I was...when I am...happy, it's real and not thanks to Eli Lilly and company.
When medicated, I cannot reach my source. I can feel it there, I just can't touch it. That is unacceptable to me. I need to be able to go back in at will.
Sometimes it's exhausting, and at the end of the journey there's nothing to show for it but a shivering psyche and empty hands. In truth, most of the time I have to ask myself if it was worth the trouble.
Once in a while, though...I find something I think to be golden, and for that reason I will return, again and again.
The well is murky and deep, and I willingly plumb its depths for the glimmering bits I may find at the bottom - they may not be worth anything to anyone else, but they're treasures to me.
Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!
"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One
For old quotes, look here.
For old quotes, look here.