Thursday, June 24, 2010

Artists Unite!

When girls and I first moved in with K., it seemed as though our every prayer had been answered.

Artistic ourselves, we found a strong sense of having slipped into the proper niche from the moment we crossed the threshold. The arrangement promised to be a good fit for all, flexible enough--in a time of upheaval--to allow us to figure out just where we planned to go from here. Truly, the opportunity might have been Heaven-sent.

Little did I recognize just a week go how completely that hackneyed,
age-old term would encapsulate this rather remarkable new experience.

Living here, sharing a house with other highly creative people, editing K.'s book, and even learning a bit about the creative processes of an actual artist: herein lie the seeds of renewed fulfillment...and unexpected joy.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


There is much to be said for finding a place in which one truly belongs.

Here, in the Black Forest--as I work on the final edit for K. Dopita's Even If I Die, paying for my room and board "in trade" until I have fully regained my strength--life is good.

Life is very, very, very good.


Sometimes, I wonder....

What does it mean, this term "inspiration?"

Once upon a time, there was no need to even ask such a thing. "Inspiration" (or so I thought) was some naturally occurring phenomenon which impacted upon every life, saturating anyone, any thing curious enough, impulsive enough to stand ready to absorb the magnificence of life. Like air, like light it pulsed and flashed all around me, and I had only to keep still long enough for it to rush in, to engulf me.

There was no need to define it: it was just there.

Somehow, something inside of me remained perpetually susceptible to its mesmerizing charm.

A glimpse of color, the faint vibration of some unfamiliar sound: these were enough to evoke a roar of activity, shaking the peaceful dormancy of the mind and urging me, teasing me, tempting me to uncover more, more, and more.

Life was a tale without end, unfolding before me with the flip of each new page, never failing to provide some new adventure, present some gripping fresh mystery, draw me into some completely unforeseen conflict or situation which could not possibly be ignored but, instead, absolutely had to be acknowledged.

I thought I could never be anything less than utterly engrossed in it all.

Until recently.

Before, there was no concept of spending even a moment--much less hours, weeks, months--in any state of apathy.

Now I have no concept of any other state.

The whole thing, this change in my attitude of the world and myself in it, has proven quite devastating at times.

I have no idea what to make of it....

Some integral portion of my identity has been lost: misplaced, perhaps...but maybe, I fear, wholly irretrievable.



Thus, the rather terrifying question for me, lately, has been, where do I go from here?

I keep running here and there, hoping for something that will grab my attention, pique my curiosity, or even cause me to stop--just for a heartbeat--and think. Additionally, I look around me, wondering how I came to be in this foreign environment, unable to understand--or even develop some interest in understanding--when and through what series of odd twists and turns I have come to be here.

Can inspiration be created?

If lost, can it ever again be found?

How, exactly, does one tap into the inmost layer of her being in order to identify the feelings, thoughts, and reactions which imbue the world around her with depth, significance, with meaning when life itself seems to no longer have purpose or merit outside the primal instinct for basic survival.

How often I have asked myself that question--especially in this last, long month, when everything that could go wrong did go wrong, and no activity seemed worth the effort of thought I would have to expend in order to take part in it.

Even writing.

Especially writing.

Time and time again, I found myself defining the hunger to write, the desire to create as a need to tangibly relay all that is inside of the deepest self into those words, images, and impressions which, somehow, resonate powerfully within others.

When, as a child, I began creating fascinating new worlds within that vast, unexplored universe of my budding imagination, it all seemed so very effortless. Human beings naturally long to explore, to learn, and writing became my vehicle for those forays into the wonderfully terrifying unknown, just as an astronaut would aim for the moon in a rocket. There was never a concept of any other pastime, no question as to whether building my image of the world through letters, syllables, and word structures could be anything less than my one true purpose in life.

Now, I find myself wondering how and why that all changed.

Perhaps we each reach a point in life when the universe within begins to feel incredibly small.

Although life itself is ever changing, the day-to-day process of merely living it becomes almost routine. It becomes easy to look without seeing, listen without hearing, devour without tasting. Beauty exists, and to view it is pleasant; yet there really is no time, no inclination, no need to actually experience it any longer.

But why?

What happens in the course of a lifetime that changes a person to such an extent that her priorities so drastically change? At what world does the surrounding world lose its allure? When do those sweet mysteries of being lose their magic?

Of late, I have founding myself drowning in confusion, carried along this sea of my own self-doubt--characterized by a constant flow of inwardly coursing pondering, reflection, and self-recrimination--on this crippling undercurrent of inexplicable doubt and dread. Have I been sucked into another realm? A separate identity? How can one simply "fall out of" love with the one companion who has remained by her side, been her lifelong obsession? And how can anyone that fickle in the first place?

I once loved to write.

No, the very thought of writing sucks the very air from my lungs.

I am left weak, shaken, and completely disoriented.