Starving 4 art
Easier isn’t always better. That’s been one of my personal mottoes for the last decade or so. And yes, I’ve had several through the years. I’m a creature of habit and I enjoy recycling the same phrases for various purposes. It occurred to me at a certain point that I should adopt a new motto each term of college. My Old School had a trimester calendar and I spent nearly seven years there in total (not all as a student) so I had lots of mottoes.
I’m thinking of this particular motto because of how hard it is for me to write poetry sometimes. I can admit it freely; I’m an exceptionally lucky person. I have a beautiful, amazing wife. I have a beautiful, amazing son. I have a beautiful, amazing family of origin. (I really do like phrase recycling.) My job is fun and challenging. I have enough time to write, read, exercise and screw off. It’s a good life. My frustration is with myself because although I have time to do all these things, I don’t. At least, not enough.
Writing poetry is, for me, a powerful experience that moves and shapes in ways nothing else does. I don’t sing, dance, (I know, surprise, surprise.) play music, draw, none of it. Okay, I do sing George Michael in the car- loudly. Sorry, Lovely. Otherwise, writing is my outlet for personal expression and I love it. Doing it well, though, takes more time and energy that I can sometimes generate. Part of the problem is that I’m too happy. We all know that great artists are supposed to be starving, right? Well, I don’t think it’s starving necessarily that generates great work, but the suffering that goes along with starvation that’s the key. PLEASE don’t get me wrong; I don’t wanna suffer anymore than I already have. What I’d like is to find ways to connect more deeply with those who do suffer. I want to translate their pain into my writing. I want to provide a voice for the silent. I want to tell the story of those society refuses to hear. (Thanks for those words, Sarah.) I’m working on it.
In the meantime, I remain grateful. And happy. (No longer Almost Happy.) Yep, I know that it’s easier to write when I’m experiencing emotional turmoil or distress but I’m still convinced that easier isn’t always better.
© Gayle Force Press 2007