Cathartic Creative Urge

I have this urge to write and write and yet the words seem stuck on the thought train going round and around in my head. Sometimes the words drift up and then they’re gone. Lost in the emotional vampire sucking dark gnawing at the edge of my stomach. Perhaps I should write about that. And then it goes, put aside, swallowed for a wallow. Maybe.

And and and. Why so many ands? Who knows. I watched Finding Forrester the other day and analyzed it to death. Poor wee film. I pat it’s head and want so to mend it’s broken story. Yet there were still some good lines about writing in that movie and so I plagiarize and paraphrase a couple here.

Like: “You should never start a sentence with a conjunction. It makes your thoughts seem to run on.” To which the response was something like, “That’s outmoded thinking and some of the best writers do it for emphasis. The danger is doing it too often, then it becomes self-consciously stylistic.” I think I made some of that up.

Then there’s a scene where William Forrester (Sean Connery) puts a blank sheet of paper in a typewriter and instructs Jamal (the hero): “Write!” Jamal protests, “I can’t just write. I have to think about it first.” Forrester: “No. Don’t think. Write. The secret of writing is to write. The first draft comes from the heart. The second draft comes from the head.” I may have made bits of that up too.

Selective memory. Curse. Blessing. All rise for the hymn. Do we really edit so much of our own experience in our heads? Is that why communicating our deepest feelings is so difficult, because it’s a constant creative process as far as our memory is concerned? I want my perfect memory in the sense that I know to hold on to what is important. Let the rest go. Ashes to ashes, funk to funky. Amen.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

Oh, for the serenity!

I try to hang on to the grains of truth. My deepest feelings, my highest hopes. Yet the tide comes in with its relentless chop chop busy busy work work bang bang of career and family and doing this and that and other people’s hopes and dreams and everything and it all washes through the places our thoughts are stored, so precious, so fragile, and tries to suck them all back in the wash. Take me to the river, throw me in the water.

Courage, please, yes.

Yes, this a collection and amalgamation of other people’s expressions and lines and modes of expression. A pastiche. A mosaic. A [blank, damn. the word has gone. i hate that. something like tapestry. no no. can’t think of it now. don’t stop. don’t lose the flow].

To write like this feels liberating, so take it as a tribute to all that has gone before. It’s an inevitable result of the way each of us builds on our own experience to create the unique expression which is ultimately ours. An expression which will wash out into the sea of human existence to join with all the other uniquenesses out there.


And the word was …collage!

Oh, I almost forgot what sparked that off. It was reading this in my horoscope for the month:

We human beings are very sensitive. Once we become too keenly aware of what’s wrong with something, we can no longer see what’s right about it. We lose the desire to repair and fill up with the yearning to replace. The factor under discussion now is most certainly not a candidate for the dump. Use soft words if you’re pointing out a defect. And if you’re being told of one, listen only with half an ear.

– Jonathan Cainer

Incidentally I think he still means listen. Just to hold on to my values and what’s valuable in life at the same time.