Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Short Short Story

“Come step outside yourself and walk a while with me along the shore of non-reality; experience for yourself a life not bound by the limits of must have’s and must do’s. Enter a universe where potentialities are the building blocks of all that is and dance under the vast empty space of a blank page. I caution you however, leave behind your sense of propriety, it has no place in a world that has not yet been created...”, the pen coaxes the hand that at one time embraced it willingly to once again caress it lovingly.
The hand responds with wails of agony over the eternal inner conflict that the pens seductive advances have cause. The battle rages and though the hand wilfully resists the uncontrollable urges that are overwhelming it, in the end it will succumb, suffering defeat to the pen that always wins.
Since the beginning of time, it has always been this way.
I think the true mystery of it all is that it is still a mystery...
I’m not sure how long I was an author before I figured it out, it may have been something I have secretly known for years but was unwilling to admit. Certainly I must have scratched the surface of it on some deep unconscious level those many years ago when I accidently discovered I was a writer; I just never had the courage to dive in and explore the black murky waters of an artisan’s mind. Having your work published makes you an author, but being an author does not make you a writer. In this case it is possible that this dirty little skeleton in the closet of the writers’ world is the kind of thing that only a writer instinctively knows should never be spoken of.
A writer’s guilt is not discussed openly within the writer’s guild; after all, there are much more important matters at hand. Who will be chosen for this year’s top literary prizes and who has made the biggest impact on society merely with the sharing of a few artfully composed line of prose are at the top of the list of things we may discuss; I’m not so sure you want to know what’s at the bottom.
Sometimes, if you are attentive and willing to transcend your own interpretations to take the chance on stilling your own mind so that you may hear what the author is really telling you then you may find hints as to the true nature of the relationship between the pen and the pauper. You might find buried in the pages of your favourite wordsmith’s latest expose some tangible, though not so obvious, evidence that the author in question may indeed need but does not always love the pen.
Not that all of us are starving artists in the monetary sense of this overused saying but there is a hunger within us all that for some reason can never be sated. Some people think that the talent makes us wealthy, that our ability to express feeling and paint pictures with words allows us some kind of magical inexplicable ability to connect with the world around us. We are rich with the sights and sounds of the space in which we live and breathe, taking all that we see and hear into our being and then allowing it to flow fluidly out onto paper. It is a wonderful perception of how this art form is used as a tool of expression and the idea in and of itself is inspiring and uplifting. Our art is a gift, our means of bringing light into the world. We are creators of ideas and purveyors of ideals, pulling fanciful forms from the air and spinning webs of intricate words that bring new worlds into being. We cajole and tempt our readers into unexplored paradigms complete with complex characters through whom bookworms can vicariously experience adventures beyond the limitations of reality.
A gift indeed, it is; and a curse...
For when the muse descends it is not in the nature of the writer to deny the pen, nor is it in their nature to find the courage to refuse the eternal torment of the soul that allows us to share the intimate emotion that pulls the reader unwilling into a world that is no longer their own.
What does the writer see when they stare out the window for hours, lost in a world internally born and lovingly nourished into expansive growth for your viewing pleasure?
Do you care? Does it matter? As long as the stories keep coming, is the wellbeing of the source important?
‘Such power and majesty, such imagination’, you say... ‘these are surely things that ought to be cherished and praised’; and I say ‘nay, it is merely how I survive’...
Too often do we dwell on the talents and skills of others and ponder how it is they accomplish tasks that far exceed our own capabilities. You might even be so bold as to ask, as many in the past have done...
How I do it? How I can sit for weeks lost in worlds that don’t exist? I answer truthfully that I only write so that the conversations in my head do not explode out into and invade the life that I live. I would not have my demons interfere with the daily interactions that I am forced to endure with regular people who live quietly, sheltered within the boundaries of society. I have discovered through much trial and error, the more lines I produce, the less likely it is that I will be seduced by the darker side of being. Possession they say is nine-tenths of the law and I am of the mind that they had artists in mind when they invented this quaint little phrase.
The well known images that have invaded the works of a multitude of performers over the years that depict men and women, with heads bent before their keyboards, begging and pleading with their inner being to shine its light on their latest creative endeavour are a most clever ruse. Presented by experts at sleight of hand, they have helped to design the illusion that this thing they call ‘writing’ is something one must slave away at if one wishes to succeed. Discounting the obvious disdain that the average creative personality has for the commonly accepted definition of the word, it is nonetheless, an acceptable misrepresentation of the struggle that society expects from those it naturally shuns even as it pretends to admire. For surely, it cannot be easy to sit down and build out of words such vividly realistic chronicles of tragedy, heroism and self sacrifice. There must be some kind of plan, a layout presented beforehand full of ‘maybe’s’ and ‘what ifs’ that will allow the writer to explore the potential of their creations. It cannot simply that be that the story, as it is told to you, already exists in its’ entirety in the twisted mind of the architect awaiting it’s chance to escape the confines of the brain and leap into existence becoming a part of the culture of the people. No, that would be too simple...
Perhaps better then, and safer for all, to just assume that there is much effort involved in creation and that the eloquence of the moment is a mystical and magical thing that cannot be explained...
We could dispense with the charade and do away with all the fancy tricks that writers use to fool you into thinking that what they do is a challenge, for it is pure and simple honest truth that it is not what they do that causes them distress; it is who they are.
The writer does not see the world as you see it. There is no black and white, nor are there shades of grey from which to choose in any given moment what for them is wrong or right. There is no defined line between the world you believe is their imagination and the world you perceive as our collective reality; there is no certainty that the worlds they claim to have contrived have not existed before either in this realm or another. There is no comfort for them in knowing that the things they share are merely tales that have been pulled from an overactive mind, for in the moment of revelation, there is a deep seeded knowing that they have lived the stories they tell. There is no separation between your world and the worlds you read about on paper. The lines between what is real and what is not are no longer blurred nor are they merely indistinguishable to the naked eye; they have altogether ceased to exist.
In any given moment your teller of tales may be locked in the mind of a killer, pulling from that mind all the sadistic and sordid details of the destruction of its latest victim or they may be walking the beach in brazil, allowing the sun to gently kiss their skin as they breathe in the salty sea air.
And the conversation with the pen carries on without interruption...
“Come to me”, says the pen...
“Not today, there are things that I must do”, answer’s the hand that usually holds it...
“Come to me”, calls the pen...
“I can’t” explains the hand that shamefully yearns to pick it up...
“Come to me” demands the pen...
“No, life calls and you must let me live it” pleads the hand that secretly aches for its touch...
“I am your life” whispers the pen and the hand slowly reaches for it knowing that if it gives into this, it will never again be able to let it go...
Such is the burning fire that is the need to write; a flame that over time may wax and wane yet will always reignite.
Is it any wonder that your world scares the hell out of me; that I cannot understand your daily grind and nine to five routine. Is it such a surprise to you still, after all this time, that I do not ‘fit in’ and that minor details, like the need to sleep and eat, at times elude me. Shocked are you, that if I had my way, annoyances like having to provide for myself food and drink would cease to exist for what good is this energy that sustenance provides if I cannot allow it to again be released in an explosion of creation. Go to work? What? What? Sir you must be mad; what if I stumble upon some inspiration and am not able to jot it down for further exploration? Do you seek my expiration?
It’s ok, I understand your hesitation, as I too have questioned the sanity of this situation...
And that as they say is quite enough of that; I assume however that you get my point as it is in my heart that if you have indeed made it this far you have a much deeper understanding of my state of dis-ease than I previously gave you credit for. In fact, though some may have in the past thought me ill, I think you might agree that it is simply the side effects of attempting to live a life out of line with who I really am. As the freedom to express becomes more a way of life, so too does the sense of calm that goes along with being true to one’s nature. Though my spirit longs for freedom, and will not be trapped by the constraints of societal expectations I will do my best to live a life in line with the moral and ethical desires of our global brothers and sisters; in short I will do my best not to stir up too much shit.
Yet, if I am to make this concession in the interest of keeping the peace...
I want to know two things...
Where do seagulls sleep at night and where do writers go to write?
They hide away, in places where they will not be disturbed and on some level it may very well be that they do need absolute silence to perform the task at hand but when it comes down to it, this removal of one’s self from society in order to complete a collection of written works is more about protecting the people who still live within the confines of that society.
Go ahead if you dare, seek out the illusive writer and if you are lucky enough to find them in the throes of ecstasy that come with the release of all the hidden barbaric passions of their being; reach out to them and try to stop their pen, then stand in awe of the madness you see shining in their eyes.
They don’t know you... they don’t want know you...
You are merely another actor in yet another play that was no doubt written long ago by some poor anguished creature who sought to find a way to come to terms with the division between the world they knew to exist and the world that every once in a while invaded their sacred space.
From whence does such insanity hail? From what dark and dreary depths does such depravity ascend to assault the senses of one who would be brave enough to interrupt the creative process? How does one come to not know the difference between fact and fiction?
These are question that have plagued me for many a moon and I was wondering...
Could you tell me? Because I have been watching you ‘normal’ people for years and I am still not for the life of me able to figure out how it is you are all still so confused...
Humph; and you call us crazy...

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