We the Delays and the HopefulsMonday, February 13, 2017
In attempting to breathe life into a vision, it is common to get waylaid in the forest of your thoughts. But regularity doesn’t always entail getting used to. It's puzzling, how often your mind turns on you, and yet, each time, you are caught off guard. It can get to a point of utter exhaustion, where, with the measured care of sands pouring inside an hourglass, you feel your vision slip from your grasp. Then, you panic. You fear. And then the words escape and the notes falter, and your hands fail to pluck the right chord or tell the tale. The words become ineligible scrawls. The notes remain maddeningly dissonant. The colors dull, and the anger starts to swell. And soon enough, a compulsion to destroy supplants the duty to create.
A choice then makes itself known, and it is this: cut down your lofty ideas, or wallow in your frustrations. More oft, you choose the latter, for doubt is poison and it taints us all. Stuck in the labyrinth of your tumultuous mind, your usually formless misgivings become astonishingly defined. Your eyes hurt from the definition. Your mouth trembles. You feel the venom creep from your toes, up your spine, and in your synapses and dendrites. It doesn't help that everything around you appears to reinforce your failings: you go over your writings but they read poorly, you sing your songs but they sound strange, like they're not yours anymore. But that's the thing about passion. When it gives, it gives unbridled. And when it takes, it does so without mercy. It claims just as readily as you would offer your all. So, of course, on days when your editors don't reply or your designs suffer rejection or your music doesn't get airplay, your heart invariably crumbles. Art, after all, is fully realized through an audience. But artists must make. Making sustains us. We may create for money, but we will create even without. We write for the soul to take flight. Our songs are our salvation. On the canvas is our truth. So if you get lost in the maze of your mind, have enough faith in yourself. The trick is not to get out, but to make your mind your home. Your thoughts are trees and your mind is a forest. Your forest. Remember the groves. Notice the notches. Memorize every path. Let the canopies be your shelter instead of your cage. Embrace the wildness.
Doubt may be a poison that taints us all, but all also carry the antidote. Just like the poison, the cure is found inside your mind. How else, do you think, can we create in spite of? We may sometimes be lost and scared and frustrated, but always are we hopeful. We make despite the second-guessing, in the hope that things will get easier in time; that the audience we desire be reached, that we be rewarded with our preferred versions of validation.
The key is to never stop. We postpone. We delay. We procrastinate. But we never ever stop.