Grazie mille e mille grazie to Seashell, for taking part in my challenge and challenging me, for being so gracious, as always, and for being a deep sea diver in life, and asking questions like this one:
here is my question: how do you manage to write and find inspiration everyday? have you got a particular ritual (!)? How do you face those bleak days blurred with no concentration and a bit restless in your mind (maybe this is unknown to you)?
Dear Seashell, ti auguro tante belle cose… oh beautiful weaver of words and worlds – A Poem by Stefania (Seashell)
As some people might tell you, doing the kind of writing that I do is not writing at all, it is blogging, and blogging is easy… to dismiss as not being writing, even though words may be used, form sentences and the people who create posts for their blog may call what they are doing writing.
Anyone can create a blog, especially nowadays when such an act of creation only requires a few clicks. Platforms like WordPress make things simple, quick, fun and free (you can pay for it if you want to, but you don’t have to).
Is blogging an art form? I think so, but then I’m biased, and not just because I blog, but also because I follow many blogs and witness a daily flow of inspiration, a river of voices, living beings, sharing their worlds and visions. To me that is art in its natural expression… before humans clutter it with judgment.
We often associate greatness with struggle, and art with rarity. This can be true, but it can also miss the point entirely because its focus is too narrow. Sometimes greatness and art is simple and easy… we all have talent, but because we have it we don’t appreciate it as much as if we didn’t have it or had it after struggling to get it.
“Life has been your art. You have set yourself to music. Your days are your sonnets.”
― Oscar Wilde
I grew up in a household of artists… who struggled… due to breathing rarefied air. One of their struggles was with those of their kind…
To paraphrase a TV show’s opening credits – You know artists. A bunch of bitchy little girls.
Not all little girls are bitchy, but that sexist (and possibly ageist) stereotype is one of many which clutters the world with its judgment, and conjures up an image to which we can relate even if we disapprove of it.
Words create images, pictures drawn artfully in the mind, and express thousands of subtle things within the one.
The original quote is:
“Michael Westen: I assume you got word about my situation?
Sam Axe: You know spies. Bunch of bitchy little girls. Good news for you, I’m a drunk and a washout already, so I can talk to whoever I want, burned or no.”
Everyone is always spying on us to find faults, flaws, imperfections, errors, in what we say and do. Why?
Often because they feel as hunted by spying eyes as we do and want to get their jab in first. Do unto others… before they do unto you, and you get burned again. Everyone would rather be the twisted firestarter than the burning man.
Or because they’re jealous, envious, you’re doing something they wished they were doing, and for whatever reason that they’re not doing it… you have to not do it either.
Or a million other reasons that humans inflict stuff on other humans, causing humans to inflict things on themselves, and pass what they’re inflicting on themselves onto others, and so on, into infinity and beyond.
This is a rather clever quote:
Can you see what I see when looking at it?
It’s doing what it is telling others not to do, but it’s being devious in how it is doing it. It’s a friendly face grinning to show its perfect teeth, porcelain veneers to cover what is real with a false, cosmetic beauty. Chastising with a smile… killing with kindness.
It’s an inspirational quote which causes blood to flow from the veins, through a pen onto page, because it cuts, those flawless teeth bite, deep into the flesh of life opening a vein.
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
― Ernest Hemingway
That’s what I do. These words are my blood. But from where does that blood come?
When my father used to get asked how long it took him to create one of his paintings, he would say – It takes about an hour, and thirty-five years.
One of the biggest criticism which he got thrown at him was that he was too prolific. Apparently a truly great artist only paints one painting a year, if that – so that it will have value to those collecting his work, and can be hyped and hiked in price by those who profit from selling the work of another man’s blood.
My father loved to paint. It was probably the only time that he was at peace with himself and not being an asshole to others. It was perhaps the only time when he passed on healing rather than hurt. He did it everyday, all day, compulsive, disciplined, dedicated, passionate… but this good thing was viewed as a bad thing by most others. And eventually they wore him down with their criticism, and all his enthusiasm for his art died. It took him much longer to die… many years later, from the wounds.
“The worst part of success is trying to find someone who is happy for you.”
― Bette Midler
The less he painted, the more miserable he became, the more miserable he was, the crueler he became towards others.
Best times I experienced with him was when he was painting and I was in the studio with him, watching, not spying, observing not looking for something to criticise or find fault, flaws or imperfections with… I’ve never seen him happier and kinder, encouraging me to join in the fun. And it wasn’t the kind of fun that you experience from a narcissist when they’re having one of their highs, it was real, because only in those moments could he be real.
My mother hated those moments, because she was excluded from them… she got herself excluded from them and afterwards kept the exclusion thing going. She hated it when I spent time with him, and sought to minimise that exposure.
“Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo.”
― H.G. Wells
Of course a lot of what happened to him, to his creations… was his own fault. He had many opportunities to tell his critics where they could shove their views, and he could have allowed their negativity to inspire him positively rather than self-destructively. He tried to go that way, but was met with even more rapacious judgment against him, and at some point it broke him, he decided to join them rather than beat them… or beat them by joining them, which ended up with him defeating himself.
And so it goes. He had his reasons… we all do, for why we do what we do and don’t do what we don’t do.
I can’t share his work with you because my mother scours the internet for any mention of him, in image or word. She thinks he belongs to her, even though he thought he died having finally freed himself from her. And I don’t need her attention… I’ve had enough of that to last me and anyone else who wants it or doesn’t several lifetimes.
However I can share the work of someone he inspired…
Yeah, okay, that’s my work… thing is, the target part is actually from one of my father’s paintings.
Everything and everyone is a source of inspiration… how we are inspired is up to us, even when it feels as though it is up to anyone and everyone, and all but us.
Those bleak days, blurred… no concentration… restless mind… pacing the edges of the abyss… they bleed profusely, internally… and can inspire external expression or complete silence… which is never as complete or as silent as we perhaps think it is or wish it would be.
Everything has a language, but that language sometimes doesn’t have words… it can be taught to speak in words, if that is our will and its will too.
“I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.”
― Oscar Wilde
If you can’t write, you can’t write… don’t try to force it, go with it, see where it leads. There are other means of self expression…
If you can write, write… don’t force it, go with it, see where it leads. It is one means of self expression…
But don’t clutter it with judgment… such as deeming your writing not to be writing. Not all writing is writing… not all that which we perceive as writing is writing. Sometimes it is just porcelain veneers making a smile pretty for others to see while underneath… it is something else. Sometimes a rambling bunch of doodling scribbles says more than a finely and expertly crafted string of words.
Who knows… who killed cock robin?
Let yourself do as you do… and don’t worry about whether it is right or wrong, your dream or not your dream, there’ll always be someone telling you it’s wrong, especially when it is right, making you a part of their dream or their nightmare.
And you know right from wrong… except when you don’t, like when dreaming and not sure if it is real or not, and sometimes in those moments, you’re free… to write your own story, far from it all.
Che le parole nell’aria
Sono parole a metà
Ma queste sono già scritte
E il tempo non passerà
E quando arriva la notte, la notte
E resto sola con me
La testa parte e va in giro
In cerca dei suoi perché
Né vincitori né vinti
Si esce sconfitti a metà
La vita può allontanarci
L’amore poi continuerà
– La Notte