Monday, 3 January 2011

In the Belly of the Creative Beast


Today, I received a lovely and important comment from Annie. I did respond to it, but, as I am still learning the convoluted pathways of electric cables and so on, it never got published. So, here goes again...

What Annie has said is true and very discouraging and frustrating. It does make one wonder if artists are an aggressive part of the food chain witholding the creative keys to their survival ( hence to others) or are they generous benefactors sharing their personal visions of inner and outer lives. Probably both. However, I believe that all artists possess a unique imagination (when we allow ourselves this) that can never be copied. Individual imagination is a divine gift mixed with so many ingredients of our personal lives and perceptions...I do not wish to simplify this very special and sacred connection...But I do feel that we interpret it more narrowly than it is...Yes, we do go through ups and downs and dry spells highlighted by traumatic events and individual revelations. And yes, our creativity experiences the effects of our lives, but, it never truly stops for good. It imitates dry spells exquisitely and we agonize and grieve regularly...But the truth is is that it is always there in the light or buried deep in the shadows.

I went through the high and lows particularly when I was writing my Master's thesis and the line between "real"life and 19th c.French creativity became indistinguishable and boy, did I suffer. I would heighten states by listening to Berlioz, Poulenc...and my living habits were monastic to say the least. As a result, I ended up in a Parisian hospital for over a week exhausted and suffering from anorexia to boot. And I lived like this for 4 years before at Mount Holyoke College. I would disappear in the library during the day and to empty classrooms at night starting religiously at 6h30pm. Academe and intellectual expression were everything and the social sphere spun in its' own universe. My mother often said that I should return to college just to partake in the more communal activities and have a bit more fun.

I don't regret how I proceeded, but Paris gave me pause for thought....

Additionally, our creativity is full to overflowing really and we need not become selfish or hard-hearted in sharing what we wish to share and how we choose to do so...What we individually possess is overwhelmingly abundant and generosity to others is a normal passing of the gift that was given to us.

Thank you.

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