A writer friend, actually currently a back burner buddy (he trashed our connection), to his and our lack of disport, barely writes. His words live on as repeated reposts because he wrote a personal diary eight years ago in preparation of fulfilling his final Hemingway-esque last scene. Admittedly, writings from his past are politically prophetic and astute as to what is happening in Egypt, today. Each time he posts a couple more paragraphs from his long ago chronicle the anguish over his native land is causing more not less distress. Why do we barf our misery as writers?
What stops us from writing, every day, new words within better phrases as fresh additions to our repertoire is summed up in one disgusting over used word – blocked. Painting and illustrating was something I did for decades and benefited with an international career of some note. Nevertheless, I have been nearly fruitless as a painter since I got sober. Formerly, I would affect the perfect alcoholic mindset and beat myself up for not taking up the brush. I mourned the loss and dragged my sterility as a visual artist, silently, as a constant exasperating companion. Feeling the brush loaded with paint is one of my most favored delights. Vulture-like puke when picked through with a machete revealed I had nothing more to say in painted images. Beauty was spent. Concept was unimportant. Technique was no longer the tool. Maddening as it is, I truly am exasperated because I think neither my drawing nor painting seems unique or especially insightful, so why the f**k bother. I hide in my writing, infuriating myself with daily bouts of hearing my brushes wail on about being abandoned.
Creativity is not limited to one format, or medium. Writing began to replace the decaying cavity of not painting as an emotive retort. As time went by the haze dissipated, or at least I convinced myself of same. Under azure blue skies of wakefulness, I now admit writing is the primary conduit, escape valve and encampment of my heart. No longer trapping myself in a box canyon of what is friggin’ wrong with you for not painting, I write. There are those hoping I return to imagery on canvas. Yet, the language of whatever is my attitude and vision has semi-successfully transferred to this space – where I transcribe concepts, comments, and other blabberings.
I am an expert on being blocked to paint and so rolling out the Trojan horse of a not so dissimilar color I offer these as possible differentia of how not to write. Fix-its are no longer the core of my activity in this life. Possibly, as the breeze basks the back of my damp neck here on the edge of the jungle above the Pacific, seeing what is preventing could become the prevention.
Writing requires skills – memory, research, comprehension, time, vocabulary, pace, mystery and being oblivious to the world. Human creativity is actualized narcissism and in its most positive spotlight – valuable to pushing the culture forward. We, the fools of imagination, reside in vehicles of various kinds and cultures flounder along with no choice. Either we spit out feelings and notions inside a narrative of fictional or true dialogues with real or faked characters bouncing around false or actual settings, or our souls atrophy. Unspent perceptions torture our spirit and impressions flit away as worthless abstractions.
Every writer could grumble how most of what we dream up never sees the daylight of you reading it because we wrote it on a carping blackboard of illusion. Captured within an over critical memory bank assigned to our protests and visions the vast majority of wordsmithing remains hidden from your view. Certainly, in certain scenarios this is part of channeling within the parameters of processing yet the flotsam of thoughts may see a comeback. Hence, the essential of possessing by gene puddle an excellent memory to nitpick possibilities. Writers are soul lint pickers desperate for inner praise. The requisite need for recognition has nothing to do with you dear reader. Poverty of the soul with multi-dimensionality is how we get to the portal of writing in the deeper end of the pool.
Something is amuck and something else is cattle prodding us to shit out word noise. History portrays poets in a romantic vain. This con feeds the Maya within each of us stuck to a societal need believing we are god-like to fight the desire of death wishes and ids gone bizarre. Writers as drunks or inspired sages are typical icons through out the ages. Too much never flows and the damn becomes moldy and mossy. In the blink of a raven’s eye membrane, the reservoir rushes over the edge toward the innocence residing in the valley below. Flooded with revelations being sopped is the instant reliever, and in the last hurray we discover a golden thread. I never wrote seriously until I had under my Gucci belt notches totaling over 23 years of sobriety. This protective cloak means I am able to ride the waves semi-secure n my primordial canoe down a birdie river. Going with the flow is a wisdom, a teaching, and as mystically such nearly impossible to fully actualize. We paddle. We seek. We find inspiration from winged creatures. We learn how the tides ebb. We never complete until we are a widow or widower of our own deception.
If the needle of knowing is injecting you with depression as you shred illusion, you probably should find another outlet. Writing is not for the dizzy of heart. Slugging through the caca bleating about the experience is basic to sharing with words. Woozy is the watch guard and being nauseous is noticing something mind boggling is about to inhale Prana. Yes, writers suffer stage fright. Unsteady in our self-esteem we plot, we outline, we write dialogue, we describe, we script, we listen, we hear, we feel (oh boy do we feel), we intellectualize, we rant, we hide, we die for freedom, we fight for justice, we tell a story and . . . you catch my drift net, eh?
A primal concern within a writer is way over the top of what Gollywood portrays or Shakespearian actors dispel or religiosity sells. The myth is writers are compelled to make a difference by purging. The reality is writers are flaccid tools being used by a pumped up universal heart/psyche to dispense wisdom at its finest or at its lowest common depositor of despair as self-induced death-wish rattles.
If you muck around in the stable of ego-rides, your jaunt is short and not very sweet. The only saddle worth putting on your elegant horse is one made of silk and reverence. Sacred tasks are never, ever, planned. They are more mirage than substance serving as inter and intra links in an illusive chain of our humanity we are not privy to until basking on the other side of life.
If you want to murder your muse then play along with it within the shadows of stupor stupidity and self-pity. A muse is a presupposed means of free expression. If allowed to only eat the fruit of Eve it becomes a harp like instrument made of sharp edges in a room of mirrors. Tricky is the muse of mouthpieces who prefer the word to the brush over the tools of a sculptress. One can banish a muse without knowing, as the level of sensitivity in a muse is angelic while donning its red cape, swishing tail, and a pair of faux horns next to its all seeing all knowing ears of enlightenment. A muse’s mouth is a dispenser more like a black hole, in reverse, than a spinning galaxy. If you attempt to do battle with a muse, be forewarned you will lose the war with a near orgasmic smile on your face.
My muse arrived in the form of a human who neither comes from my native culture nor knows my lands yet speaks my language. Male in its manifestation Senor Hoopoe is a digitized feathered creature whose hidden way too thin skin is engraved with glowing ancient symbols. Sometimes when his feathers are ruffled my me one gets a peak at his rooted cuneiforms as he blocks his loved ones. He is a paradox – a self-doubting dominant entity. I am an unwitting slut to his confusing ardor.
Surrendering to a muse is a drive along a pathway careening through a psychedelic landscape with promises of magical views. Rabbit holes are set up like mines to keep one’s attention on the journey. Veer too far off the drive and one slips into a kaleidoscope of delusions where colors fractualize, not unlike one’s soul hip hop rapping at the swirly pearly gates of an analog heaven disappearing with every new note.
It is clear my muse needs me as much as I need him, no matter what protests are expressed. We signed a blood oath without our mutual permissions during a ceremony not of our making. A higher power captains our canoe laughing at us, jeering us on, yet forever blending with us.
Apparently, from the little info beating on the tom-toms Senor Hoopoe and I have spun this web in other times and places. Why do I think this is so? The level of familiarity is uncanny. In fact, the recognition at times becomes so authenticated Hoopoe takes flight in his failed attempts to find less intense harbor to drop anchor. My goal is stay the course and keep writing with or without blessings. Besides, there is nothing else to do but thud away at the keyboard and tap the crystal heart. Truth riders are not volunteers. Commandeered to join an advancing army of uprightness you either accept the assignment or exist in a fetid purgatory of drunken writers and lying politicians.
I am not sorry I tricked you – there are no 20 tips to not write. There are actually seven billion ways to not write as witnessed by the population of Homo sapiens gravity spellbound to our gorgeous third rock, a blue marble rotating itself while whirling around a dying sun.
A f**ked up platoon of where the elite meet to eat within our ailing species is hell-bent on destroying themselves, Earth, and us. Existing in a crusty fear state so imbedded they cannot see over the rim of their lives with no chance of channeling a muse. Good news prevails. Those rapt intent on not only surviving but also giving the open heart its universal due are gaining in numbers and impact.
How can I write such a positive affirming statement? You are still reading.
Messages of lightheartedness weave a slinky cloth of joy. My witty brilliant husband could make me laugh with rat-tat tat of one-liners until tears bubbled and my teeth rattled. My muse is of another fabric. Senor Hoopoe’s desert oasis spell is made of a tent textile so mysterious and alluring I want to put on my roller skates and head for the hills. Yet, here I be banging away on this crumb sticky keyboard.
Doris is singing que sera sera and at this stage in my evolution I really don’t give a rice rat’s ass as long as I am able to surge and surf, writing. If at some tipping point the precipice is beyond my comprehension, I can always tie a paint loaded brush to my hand and use my teeth to make it move across a blank canvas chanting, “Hoopoe, Hoopoe, save me from my own lackey sackings.”
If you consider empowering your muse is a touchy subject, try ignoring your muse. What synergizes is not of this dimension; either back from the future or pushed forward from the past.
I dreamt I carried a impressionistic painter’s wooden box and a jewel encrusted iPad walking along a ground of translucent marble trying to push away purplish mists and not faint from heady scents of jasmine. What appeared was a face of a bird on a man’s body. He stood directly in front of me, with glaring wounded deep brown eyes, chuckling. I began to lift off my feet hovering like a hummingbird yet my eyes darted across the landscape desperate for a doorway.
Bonging gonging chimes became louder and louder drowning out the birdman’s laughter as my breathing became vapid and rapid. Sweat began to drip from the corners of my coral pinkish wilting rosebud mouth. As the watery drops hit the marble beneath my flip-flops, they cracked the illuminated tiles like an iceberg crashing into an ocean liner on a moonlit night. My ego went off and yelled to my heart, “This is not a drill, man the lifeboats women and children first.”
Fearlessly, I looked into the distressing vagueness of the birdman and felt a troubling width and breadth gain momentum as wings sprouted from my back. Lifting my consciousness upwards with each wing beat synchronized with the chiming I looked down and instead of finding the birdman below me my heart gasped. He was flying right beside me.
(To be continued, or not, as it depends, or does not, on Doris’s tune).