Friday, March 16, 2012

Pushing Through The Shadows

Life is full choices. Thing is, most days it feels as though the decisions are already made for us. We can either do A, B or C, with the possible choices scripted for us. So, how is that truly free will? It gives the semblance of retaining our own volition while narrowing our possible actions. It's closer in many ways to voluntary control.

I try to live a creative life, keeping myself guessing, trying to step out of my comfort zone on at least a semi-regular basis. Funny thing is that after a while I find myself stepping out of my usual routine in a rather routine manner. Feels safe. Life, however, isn't about keeping things safe and in their own little box. Yes I admit I prefer my books stacked neatly, items on my desk arranged at 90 degree angles, pencils in the pencil cup, pens in the pen cup, and miscellaneous items in their own bin as well. Maybe calculated safety is a good thing, allowing a construct for the more dangerous moments to be allowed.

Writing is about letting go, allowing the unknown to rear its head and poke around on the paper. Maybe it's erased, lined through, or the victim of "select all" and then "delete." It happens. Perhaps the trick is to just let it happen.

Something that frustrates me is that unpublished writers are "aspiring authors." What about painters? Painters are painters simply because they paint, even before they land a solo showing of their work. So why are writers validated only upon publication? Might be on the shoulders of the writers themselves at times. Sure, I want to be published someday on old-fashioned paper with a gorgeous font and a beautiful glossy cover. Until then, I'm still a writer, capturing words, recording thoughts, exploring details of life I see in order to deepen my own experience so that resulting sentences delve deeper into mysteries that far too many people pass by and never notice.

Discipline. That's something I've been working hard to develop. Our creative work as artists of all mediums hinges upon random moments of madness. I find that to be the easy part of the process. The difficulty lies in then returning from that state of divine inspiration and attempting to capture it in the present medium at hand. The more you do it, the more you realize that it actually is work. It should be joyful work, at least most of the time, but it isn't always. Sometimes it's laborious, painful, and full of shadows.

The ability to push through the shadows is an important skill that must be developed. So many walls pop up, for some of us at least. Walls that must either be jumped over, or blown up. Maybe some walls should be walked around.

Keep pushing through the shadows. Keep taking risks. Keep dreaming. Very few societies value their artists. Yet I believe that the artists are necessary. Appreciated or not, the spirit thereof continues to illuminate the darkness and capture truths otherwise overlooked.

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