I’ve haven’t done any serious writing for some time. My stories sit dormant, my computer unused – save as an overpriced internet browser. Inspiration of the writing kind hasn’t struck in some time and I’ve just let it lie dormant. I haven’t bothered with soul searching, reading literary icons for stimulation or even the simple, habitual sit and stare at an empty page until my hand begins to fill it with ink. I’ve been quite happy just enjoying life. In fact, I’ve been quite happy. I’ve spent several years of happy with occasional bouts of sad; and not intense sad either, just waves of melancholy or dissident apathy that ebb quickly back from whence they came. I’ve noticed recently though that these bouts of sadness or grief or general malaise are the times when I write, fervently and without reservation. Looking back, I know the words come from a dark, wounded place and that they salt as well as salve those wounds.
I’m hurting now and it empties me. New wounds open up old sadnesses; I can feel the demon rising. The words are starting to flow back. They fill the emptiness. Soon, they will spill into sentences and onto pages – frantic and breathless. A torrent of words pull me into them, swirl me around, drag me deeper and buoy me up. I will fight with them, struggle against them, love them and fear them. They will end abruptly and I will gulp air and sunlight.
On one hand, I relish them coming. I need them and they’ve been gone a long time. But they come borne on a blade of sadness that I’d rather not brandish. Is this the choice? Happiness in lieu of art; art in lieu of happiness?
I know this sadness is temporary*; even in death life prevails, my happiness can return. But will the words stop again? Do I want them to?
If pain is required of my craft, am I willing to give myself over to it?
*And relatively small in the big, wide, grand scheme of things. It’s just deep. A loss, however small or young, is still a loss that requires grief. After grief can come rationalisation but the first step is grief.