“To practice any art, no matter how well or badly,
is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.”
― Kurt Vonnegut
I came across this quote today in one of my emails and it made me nod emphatically. I’ve been giving more time and attention to the right hemisphere of my brain recently, and feel more whole because of it. Words, rhythm, and melody – and not just my own. (Let us not forget that one’s own art cannot exist without the art of others, because one’s own existence is not possible without the existence of others.)
I’ve been writing more, and playing more music; I’ve been listening to others read their writing, and have been sitting in with other musicians… It gets me goin, it’s a drug. And yet, still, I don’t always have creative clarity. Being artistic can be like walking through fog – difficult to navigate. But fog can hold such possibility and magic, and once I start to see the fog not as an inhibitor of my sight, but as the focus of my vision, something clicks. And then I close my eyes and allow the peaceful etching of my soul…
Resurrected this prose today – seems fitting:
On Finding Creative Clarity
Falling through fog, not quite weightless vapor, shadows lunging at you and away, the sun materializes as an eye looking beyond, watching a far-off place, watching a world that only consists of the sound of water washing up on shore. But all you hear is the shriek of cicadas, and you fear the fall simply because it must end eventually, and when it comes time to test your feet on solid ground they may just pass right through the surface.
A girl, made of mist, you are the air, the air is you, and the air is everything, everyone who ever lived, a record of every word ever spoken. It is heavy with history, and so you are heavy, and so you fall, and the materialized sun fades into itself, winks out, leaving a lack of focus, senses succumbing to the shrillness of existence.
Close your eyes, all your yesterdays and tomorrows are ghosts, intensions are meaningless in free fall, instead: just imagine, hang your mind on the hook of a crescent moon, let the shadows race, embrace the cobwebs that stretch then break across your face, let dusty moth’s wings wrap you in their night.
Be far away, a dewdrop, condensed on a blade of grass in a field of sleeping sunflowers. The sky is now clear, the indescribable dull blue of dawn, and words are on the wind, every word ever spoken, seen and felt, and you understand that there are millions of metaphors, but they will all fall short, and that’s okay, because yesterday you were a rain drop fallen into a raging river, and tomorrow you will be the tip of an icicle that hangs frozen from a star, and every word is right, while every word is wrong, and we are all our own unique balance of good and evil, and in that is the deepest form of purity, and proving yourself is pointless, because there is an end, and it is coming, and you’ll either stop when you hit the ground, or you’ll pass through the surface of the earth.
But no matter what, at least that moment when your acceptance held hands with the inevitable inadequacy of every word ever found on the wind will be etched into your soul forever.