A note about accidental awesome, part 2

I recently read a line that said “all artists do something to make themselves sick.” It struck a chord in me, because I wonder if in our subconscious we do damage ourselves so that we can make it into art. How fucked up and human is that?

In relation to that, while doing my daily poetry, I spewed this out :

Perhaps the text is just our way to get those demons out into the world in a way we can see them as characters and caricatures, manipulate them and control them, pointing viciously at them to say “I am in control of YOU for a change,” and all those characters we write and claim are “not us” are actually us acting-out those things we can’t in real life

Oh if only we really were in control. I say that because of this : I had a couple really bad weeks recently, the cause of which I won’t go into, but let’s just say it was a pretty dark time. I had randomly decided to do another “week without verbs” in my dailies, and I wanted to write about it, but not having verbs made me feel trapped. After a short struggle I blurted out :

“Of vast distances
of light across space
of emptiness
of vulnerability
of that old pain
of loves unresolved
of destruction
of utter defeat
of loss
of never

of hope.”

I wrote that last line and stopped, stunned. It just came out. Kerouac said “something that you feel will find its own form,” so maybe that’s where it came from. I felt it somewhere, so it found its own form, and even while trying to write something dark and cathartic, it ends with hope.

My walk home was a strange one that day. It was like for the first time in my life I didn’t know who I was. I don’t know if I’m lost in a good way or a bad way, because I thought I’d had a pretty good understanding of myself, but I went in trying to brood and express sadness and came out with hope, and that scared and comforted me.

And I don’t know if that lends credibility or doubt to my previous statement about “being in control of what I write.” I don’t really know where the fuck I am anymore. You can’t really control emotion, and if it just comes out like that, then I’m actually not in control of those characters I write.

Or, consider this, Ben (yes, at this point I’m talking to myself. Crazy? No crazies here) : maybe the “of hope” part stems from the reason artists “make themselves sick” in the first place – in the hopes of creating something good and worthy of that pain. In that sense it’s not entirely “accidental awesome.” It’s closer to “punch yourself in the crotch and then make awesome,” which when put like that, just sounds like a fucking stupid idea.

More at a later time.

About benjamininn

About myself are papers, lots of tea, computer monitors, a stapler, pens, an ancient phone, more tea, some paperclips, and a lot of air.
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One Response to A note about accidental awesome, part 2

  1. Best line ever, “I don’t know if I’m lost in a good way or a bad way”. That pretty much sums up my life every day. It’s a series of lost and found, from dawn until dusk. I think artists just feel the world, while non-artists simply see it – thus creating so much more emotion in our spirit. Which might explain how we make ourselves sick. Sometimes I do wish I could just watch the world go by, take a break from experiencing it so intimately all the time, but then I am thankful for the insight, because at the end of it all, it is my craft that keeps me focused.


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