It was just after sunset, on a day long past, when I finally pushed away from self-doubt and started writing again. That bright and beautiful evening as the moon crept up from behind the twilit horizon, I was triggered by a memory of something a “crazy” friend once said to me over a decade ago.
It was like some refrigerated flash of inspiration lighting up the dark night of my soul, and as my ears began to ring, I still somehow managed to remember his advice word for word.
Memory is funny thing, is it not?
He said, “Writing is, in effect, the act of validating the distance between our reality and what it is we dream of. What we need is not necessarily an actual—but more along the lines of a visionary—measuring stick.”
You see, there is this instrument, a stick if you will, that has, in the long run, proven to be more powerful than any weapon. It’s the tool of the scribe, the accidental poet, the misplaced philosopher, and the well-educated scholar: it’s the tool that when filled with lead and sharpened, or even a little dulled, will in fact leaves its mark on the heart and soul of the world via written words.
It’s a tool that becomes even more powerful when all that we want is a peaceful place for our children to grow and thrive, just as we have been so graciously given the opportunity throughout our lives.
And it is this seemingly puny tool that we can literally learn to use to flip fantasy over and stand reality on its head.
According to said crazy friend, “the visionary is the only true realist.” But before we manage to dismiss such declaration as the ravings of a…well, a visionary, consider this touch of madness;)
A Touch Of Madness
Most of the activity in the universe is occurring at speeds too fast or slow for normal human senses to register, and most of the matter in the universe exists in amounts too vast or too tiny to be accurately observed by any of us whatsoever. So with that in mind, isn’t it a bit unrealistic to talk about what “reality” really is anymore?
This being since the so-called fabric of reality has more often than not been perforated with false assumptions, watered down truths, and is constantly being dyed by the myriad hues of personal subjectivity, and any of us poor jokers who believe we are actually writing something real are actually the unwitting butts of a fiendish cosmic joke.
On the other hand, there’s a point of view shared by most mystics and theoretical physicists alike that contemplates that everything in the universe, large or small, is simply a projection of our consciousness.
So, one could then begin to make a strong case for all writers being somewhat realists, including those who profess about the secret realities of inanimate things every bit as much as those who focus on scientific deliberations or spiritual awakenings in rural Northern Nevada.
But let’s back away from the madness for a moment, and get to where this post was headed in the first place.
Back On Track
That evening way back in 2016, I began to scan the real world around me with an unmeasured intensity. I started to look at things my own way. That was five years ago, the year this so-called existential slash creative crisis began.
Five damn years spent abandoning one thing after another, all because of the elephant in the room—a little dream of mine.
And like a train plowing full steam ahead upon the burnt out bridge of my life, I started casting out the freight, then the seats, and finally the poor old conductor. I got rid of the weight of everything real, except for my wandering thoughts, while taking on nothing really substantial at all, except maybe for a fancy quote or two.
You see, words that we speak out loud do nothing but evaporate into the air around us, but the words that we write remain eternally etched upon the world. So, if you’d like something to be remembered about you, or anyone else for that matter, it’s best to write it down and see where it goes.
Writing, I have come to figure out over the past five years is just an exploration of the soul. You start from nothing and learn as you go. And It’s often surprising where the creative journey takes us.
When I started writing again in November of 2016, I felt like my life was lacking something. I guess you could call it an “authentic” experience. I felt like universal love was a lustful sham. Everything around me seemed so artificial, synthetic, and way too damn watered down. And I wanted to create something real. So I started putting together a plan for a long lost dream of mine. And little did I know then, but what I was looking for, was as real as it gets, it was myself.
Though granted, throughout the years I have probably sounded like I’m a few sandwiches short of a picnic at times, but what I lack in sandwiches, I make up for in midnight snacks.
In all reality though, I am only here to express my emotions and my opinions, via storytelling, and other creative ventures. I’m not here to save the world, though in the beginning my ego thought it could, but now I am here to save myself, my lost soul, and provide others with a little light of hope by inspiring them here and there by the only way I know how.
You see, I like to write, not because I believe that I know know more than others, but because I have to get down and dirty with the darkness within me, and extricate it so to speak. I had to find myself first and then pick up the scattered dreams I had left strewn all over the damn place, and I didn’t know of any other way at the time, except by exorcising the demons of—what was then—a long lost passion of mine. But I had to find myself in a different style than I ever had, and by writing, I like to think I might have found my soul.
The Ups & Downs Of Writing
I have a few more things to say about the ups and downs of writing before I walk deeper down this creative path into the depths of a little dream.
I try to write every day. But with my creative self I also fight every day, yet I also play every day, I think and scheme and dream up hundreds of little daydreams.
Inspiring words are left piled up in the kitchen sink, run-on sentences clutter the kitchen counter, I mince up metaphors and chop up pronouns and prose, then I finely dice a few adjectives just to toss them into the stockpot of my soul. I write like I cook. I do not follow a recipe, so how these words taste to you, of this, there is no guarantee, not one certainty, not even a promise to myself of what’s to come. Or even, whether or not I have left a misplaced comma somewhere I shouldn’t have, and yet still, I do it anyway.
I guess it’s who I am. It’s the element of surprise that comes with writing that I cannot control, it’s the freedom to be…the real me.
But I also find at times that the act of writing can also be very excruciating and feel like emotional slavery. I can go two months without coughing up a few creative words, or I go on a spree and write for a week straight, only to realize that—eventually—the whole beautiful purpose of what I wanted the message to say didn’t quite hit the mark I was aiming for. Such is a writer’s life, is it not?
All the same though, I adore the tenderness of writing, maybe much more than I should. Scribbling poetic meaning to the inconsistencies of life is a piece of cake compared to going through the “emotions” of actually living it.
And still I doubtfully ask myself on a consistent basis, have I really let writing and my emotions fool me for so damn long? Am I doing the right thing?
And so at last, in recent days, I have gathered something from the weight I placed upon my own shoulders so damn long ago.
I took a blank notebook and drew a line smack dab down the middle of it. Then, I listed all that I had gained from rekindling this passion of mine on the left-hand side of that line, and all that I had lost on the right.
It turned out that I had lost so much more—feelings long abandoned, emotions trampled under foot, sacrificed, and betrayed by my own self—I had to turn the page to write them all down, even then, I ran out of empty space. And the only word found written on the left hand side was also written among the lost on the right hand side, it was “me,” and that in itself isn’t as simple, or as difficult, as it really sounds.
You see, there is a creative wilderness that separates what we attempt to believe from what we are actually able to perceive. It is so desolate and rugged that it can never truly be known how far we are willing to go into that wilderness to find the truth, until we get there.
All I can keep trying to do, is to keep trying my hand at checking this main bulletpoint off my bucket list. The one being, to find my true voice in this short little blip on the radar of life, and use that voice the best I know how. And to make sure that it echoes loud and clear long after I’m gone.
I’m well aware that what I’ve done here over the past five years is nowhere near well-written literature, nor is it necessarily something to be consistently considered as art. It is just a mental notebook with a line drawn through the middle of it. Though I like to think it to be the beginning of a story that will forever contain suggestions of something moral and chivalrous, if you do indeed, choose to see it that way.
And if you’re the sort of person who raids the refrigerators of sleepy kitchens in the wee hours of the morning, looking for something to snack on, or even just a little inspiring light in the middle of the night, then you can only eat up these words as appropriately as your consciousness sees fit.
So, the reality of why I started writing way back when beckons, but first I’ve got to get this damn train back on the right track.