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.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Well

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.


Momlady said...

You need to believe people when they tell you they love what you write. Screw the grandmother. She isn't here. Start believing in yourself. Your writing is GOOD and when you write about your driving experience and share it with us it makes us smile and nod our heads 'cause we experience it too, which is why you should send it to the editor of your paper. Who knows, it might lead to some freelance work.

HermitJim said...

Listen to your Mother! I just happen to agree with her on this...!

Probably many more do so as well!