This piece is disjointed, and intentionally so. It is a collection of several small pieces that I have written in my personal journals over the past couple of months. Individually each piece is not my finest work; together they are not my finest work. So why include them as a public posting, because what they lack in prize-worthy writing, they are abundant with message, with exposure, a summary of sorts as to where my head has been at, in what has come to be a very long creative drought. So please, read on through the lens of me trying to understand me, a little self-help and self-realization. This is a peak behind the curtain.
I have never been completely honest in my writing, and this will be no different. Total honesty is a scary thing. To pull back the veil and expose the most intimate of truths is something, I would safely bet that, the majority of us have either never done, or if we are so fortunate, may have done on such rare occasion that these moments, while probably profound and full of meaning, are so few and far between, that they seem foreign, as not a part of us as they are intimate. The writer, or more generally, the artist seeks to do this through their chosen medium as often as possible, with many claiming that they are open and honest, brutally honest, and free in all the ways others are not- “I tell it how it is”, “I say what is on my mind”, all common catchphrases they will employ. So often, the ones most prone to boast about something are in fact the ones least likely to possess that trait, or have that truth. If we say it enough, others will believe it. If we say it enough, even we can start to believe our own lie.
Perhaps we proclaim what we are, when it is the farthest thing from the truth- our simple yet manipulated attempt at changing our truth?
Truth in art, art in truth, will either set you free?
So what is this all about? Why so much focus on truth, perception, and reality, because, each is prominent in my identity. The attempt to learn and understand each has mystified me for as long as I can remember- pulling back the veil, the elusive search for “the meaning”.
My writing can be largely summarized as focused on two things, perception and truth. Really two opposite notions always intertwined.
As I come off a long creative drought, I feel energized, empowered with a new power- an expanded arsenal and a needed mindset to push through.
Will all subsequent work be complete truth, free of shadows and alterations? No.
As alluded to prior, I don’t believe most of us possess the capability at-will, even if we have convinced ourselves we do. But there is no reason we cannot challenge ourselves to get there, to pursue what may seem unattainable. For in this pursuit is where life happens.
For myself, I want my writing, my art, to creep closer and closer to this truth, each piece, a truer reflection of me, and I encourage that we all can do that in life, regardless of your artistic leanings.
For each individual to live a little truer, a little more in line with who they are each day, that is progress my friends, that is evolution, that is enlightenment.
I am in search of my own authenticity. Family aside, no other singular item is more important to me right now. My last piece discussed truth and perception, both playing directly into my search for the authentic-self. The ego-me tells myself that I have been the authentic-self for short bursts of time in prior, younger years. Truth is, that may or may not be true. It is entirely more likely that I have not been witness to my authentic-self yet, and I have only proceeded to play the part of the fool in my own memory induced illusion.
At some point, Stella lost her groove and, I believe, Austin Powers mojo went astray…well I know Stella got her groove back and Austin Powers was just fine (baby), so why not me, but on a much more real, personal, and impactful way than a couple of late 90s mediocre Hollywood story lies. This is the search for me, the authentic-self, something that I have convinced myself I need here and now, in no particular terms.
But what does that even mean, authentic-self? If I knew exactly what it meant, I would probably also have found it for myself. So I can tell you what it is not (what the problem is) and give you a (likely) inaccurate fumbled portrayal of what I think the authentic-self is, on a high-level all-people bird’s eye view.
I have removed content here. The subsequent paragraph did not delve deeper into the authentic-self, but instead, went on a crazy tangential rift about caves, creatures, and darkness, for no foreseeable reason other than it is what came to mind.
Maybe that’s just it, maybe the groundhog peeping of the authentic-self comes out of nowhere, is bizarre, does not make sense, and deviates you from that nice tidy little path you had laid out for yourself…truth…art.
Change in all forms.
Today we sing, tomorrow we dance.
The night’s sky flickers with memories of a bygone era.
Here we stand, united in our moment.
I find myself meandering much more the last few days than I have in a while. Gentle winds take me here and there.
The meandering wanderer is not looked down upon, it is welcomed, wanted, needed. For too long I have been caught up in a race, a frantic need to measure up, measure up and “get things done”- complete the list.
I have added and added, said yes, made it my task, layer upon layer of complexity, of complication, until it was no longer bearable, and I was no longer me. I feel that sense of self-knowing coming back now. What once seemed like a barren desert, now feels like a cold rush of water infused into my veins, filling me with potential and direction.
No stranger to redirection, self-reflection (loathing?), and contemplation, I have found this current crossroads most perplexing and having the most gravitas.
Moments, they happen when we least expect them.
For better or for worse, my career, or better yet focus in life has become more clear and structured in the last few days. Structure, be sure you are the architect of the construction.
I told myself today that I would be traveling- I had various destinations in mind, but was willing to deviate. I have fallen into routine and trappings of my own design- even a day of travel and adventure; I can quickly turn into routine and the expected. It is difficult to escape and be free in modern America, especially in the unhealthy hustle and bustle of major metropolitan areas such as Chicago, where I reside on its suburban outskirts. I have long been obsessed with the writings and lifestyle experiences of Jack Kerouac, the, to me, simple adventures in an era of slower living, basic joys, and still plenty of America (and life) left to explore. We all have the explorer within, mine aches with a longing I cannot currently satiate. Satiation of my core needs and identities is a big focus for me, it is rampant in my writing.
In my push to be deeper, I find memories of ultra-shallowness, such as focus on and concern for the outfit I put together for the day, “what says writer… breakthrough…what says adventure?”
As a writer, I have had so many stop and go, or rather go and stop moments over the past 6-12 months that I am left with a disappointment and a fear of the well having run dry. That scares me. Briefly I considered complicated and impractical options, ways to fix this creative rut…quickly jumping off of that speeding bullet train of crap and instead going simple.
My plan…to write everything… to write and write, about everything and anything (or is it the other way around?), and while I am continually writing, I will also be sharing nearly all of it.
This is the only real way I know how to get back in, to slide back into that groove of writer, creator, artist, satisfied being. So, let it be so.
This fifth and final passage catches me on a day when I felt shallow as an artist, feeling as if I had denied my art all of me, and instead been selective and manipulative with what I let others see, or even write for myself. It is a very brief piece that alludes to a possible future project exploring the depths of my being.
I am a broken person. This I realize.
Yet I have the grace within, everyone does.
Describing the Beast:
So much of what I do in my writing is self-analyze, self-medicate, and self-help myself. My writing is intimate, it’s intimate when it is obviously intimate, and it is intimate even when it seems distant and removed. I believe all art, or at least all genuine art is intimate, it tells the story of the individual, in one way or another. A little bit, or sometimes nearly the entire artist is embedded within the deep recesses of the piece. And while my writing goes to a certain depth, I freely admit it is limited, it goes medium’ish deep into me. I have never dared to go deep into the recesses of my being. In a recent piece I said that I would be breaking my writer’s block by writing about anything and everything. I feel that in addition to that, I need to take a stab at going deep, deep down into the abyss…down into the abyss and describe the beast- but how to begin?
Where does one start with an exposition such as this? How does one simply let go and dive into the darkness?
I am flawed, completely and utterly beautifully flawed. Both heavenly and brimstone, I, like nearly all in life, am a duality of existence. So how to begin? Perhaps a tit for tat, a positive and then a negative. I have much I am proud of, and enough that I am not. I have shined in many moment so far, and stumbled in even more. I am me.
There are countless tales to tell, but what fits and describes the beast? Today will probably not be the day I decide that…
So there you have it, five passages mashed together to provide you a glimpse (albeit hodge-podge) of me speaking to me, trying to figure me out, and in the process find a way to get back. Perhaps you can relate. We all, in some way, need to get back, to get back to something or someone.